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Friday, August 30, 2019

Did Scott Wilson just admit the sale of JEA is a done deal? (draft)

You might be asking, hey Chris what does this have to do with education. Well the sale of JEA is just more evidence that those leading us don't care about what we think and want.

The sale of JEA is about as unpopular as the referendum is popular. The people of Jacksonville want the referendum and they want to keep the JEA too but that hasn't stopped the City Council and City Hall from ignoring them. You see we don't have a city government that works for us, they work for their donors and Scott Wilson seemed to indicate the sale of JEA, after ironing out just a few details, was little more than a done deal.

From the Jax Daily Record,

Wilson said the decision to privatize JEA is making its way to Council faster than he anticipated.

 “I just think the Council as a whole needs more time. This is one of the biggest transactions we’ve ever undertaken, even though this (JEA employee pensions) is just a small part of it,” Wilson said.

The bill states that active JEA employees on the date of a “recapitalization event” will be considered vested in the pension program regardless of their years of credited service.

Wha, faster than anticipated? Why are we in a hurry? What's the rush? This is kind of a big deal right, shouldn't this be a slow and deliberate process?

And um, one of the biggest transactions, we've under taken?

I thought the council was just checking things out. You know feeling its way around to see if the sale of JEA is a good idea or not.

I mean as far as I have heard and I try and keep in the know, there has been no JEA transaction yet.

I think we are fooling ourselves if we don't think the sale of JEA is full speed ahead, despite the city's reservations.

There was another interesting part of the article as well.

A memorandum from the Office of General Counsel distributed Tuesday to Council officials states any possible decision-maker in a JEA sale is prohibited from speaking about the terms of JEA’s ITN with constituents, members of the media, on social media or with possible respondents to JEA’s solicitation.

The cone also means Council members cannot file legislation or hold noticed public meetings regarding the solicitation terms.

The guidance does allow city and JEA leaders to speak about JEA’s future “in general.” 

After reading the memo, Council members Randy DeFoor and Garrett Dennis said the fine line between specific and general comments could provide a need for the  Council to have outside legal advice. They also requested city General Counsel Jason Gabriel provide a binding legal opinion on the cone restrictions.

“We have not talked about this at all as a Council,” DeFoor said. “This is a complicated area that we need our own expert counsel on to hold our hand through the process. The general counsel wears a lot of hats. They represent a lot of different people, and we’re going to need our own, in my opinion, counsel.”

Randy Defoor thinks people need their own lawyers, hmm is there anybody else that could use their own lawyers, hmm is there anybody or maybe a board that I can think of

Friends, whether it is the Landing, Lot J, JEA or the referendum, we are not being led in Jacksonville, we are being ruled and those ruling us do not have our best interests at heart.

Image result for jea

Just who does Lenny Curry and City Hall think they are fooling?

After the school board so no thank you to be extorted out of hundreds of millions of dollars by the city council. Lenny Curry released a statement.

Um what? Collaborating? The right program? Oh yeah by those things he means do whatever he says and give him whatever he wants. I have to be honest I don't even think that would work because he wants our schools to fail.

Anyhoo, I rewrote Curry's press release to make it accurate. 

An honest statement would have said, instead of taking care of children, fixing schools, revitalizing neighborhoods, creating jobs, attracting businesses, and stopping flight to the suburbs the mayor
has decided to fight against those things so his donors can get paid.
The Landing, Lot J, the JEA, the referendum, him ignoring the needs and will of the people is not a one off. He doesn't care about us or what's best for us. This is dreadful living under his thumb, I can only take solace in that more and more people are waking up and they don't like it either.

Aaron Bowman has a week long temper tantrum (draft)

Somewhere between praising the Civic Council and denigrating the school board Tuesday night, Bowman said that he would be the tax referendum's worse nightmare if the school board didn't give him what he wanted, hundreds of millions for his donors charter schools. Now that last part isn't verbatim but the nightmare part is.

Um is that something somebody who is having an earnest debate with somebody else says? Does that sound like Bowman is willing to compromise? The truth is Bowman couldn't give a $#% about what the city's children and his nightmare comment is just further proof of that.

Next because you know there is nothing else going on in the city, not like there is a hurricane in the vicinity and the super doesn't have to get the hurricane shelters ready, something nobody who works for a charter school has to do, Bowman "demanded" everything the district has on the timeline and it better be in by Tuesday too.


Um, he must think he is pretty special to put a date on his request. I made a request of City Hall at the beginning of the summer and they told me they would have it ready by December.

Oh and I do records requests fairly regularly, but I don't go straight to the super. I go to the records request department. How arrogant Bowman must be to think the super is at his beck and call.

This led to exchange between Bowman and Carlucci where Bowman called Carlucci, probably one of the most genuinely nicest men ever, a has been.  

From Florida Politics, 

Bowman wanted Greene to reach out no later than Tuesday morning about the documents that led to the district’s proposed Master Facilities Plan.
Bowman’s colleague Matt Carlucci (an at-large Councilman who notes he was the leading recipient of votes in the March elections) took issue with the “demanding” tone of the request.
This was an extension of his irritation that the School Board has not been heard by Bowman’s committee.
“Aaron, You are a councilman. Please do us and your constituents a favor and Brush up on your humility. Dr. Greene is the Superintendent of al DCPS. Your Attitude only builds walls. Think hard about this, Matt. Ps: you did not behave like this when you came to me asking for support,” Carlucci wrote.
Bowman fired back nine minutes later: “When you come to terms that you are a ‘has been’ , I suspect things will get better for you.”
A has been? Um they both have the same exact role on the city council right now though I guess since Carlucci cares about people he is in the minority.
There is absolutely nothing redeeming about Bowman, he represents all that is wrong in the city.
He doesn't care about the city, his colleagues or the city's children, he only cares about his donors and I bet the only reason he does that is because he thinks they will help advance whatever squirly, myopic, agenda he has. He's gotten through life being a bully and now that the school board has stood up to him, he is imploding. 
The city deserves better.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Is Charlotte Joyce trying to sabotage the sales tax referendum? (draft)

Only one school board member has consistently voted against the sales tax referendum and that is Charlotte Joyce, continuously deferring to the city council, I am now wondering if she might be attempting to sabotage it as well.

At the city council debacle, err meeting Tuesday, Randy White, I am pretty sure not the all pro Dallas cowboys defensive lineman, but a random white guy city councilman from the west side, said he was proud of his board representative (Joyce) for voting against the referendum, and thought after a 4-3 school board vote the day before, a vote the council tried several times to weaponize, more board members had come around to her way of thinking.

I wonder if he feels the same way after the 6-1 vote to sue the city council?

Anyhoo, that's one thing, this excerpt from a letter the parents at Fishweir Elementary are sending the Times Union, a great idea that I hope more schools do, is another.

We are parents of students who attend Fishweir Elementary School in District 14. Several of us attended last night’s city council meeting, in which the council voted to withdraw the school board’s half cent sales tax ballot referendum. Council member LeAnna Cumber kicked off discussion by voicing her support for withdrawal. She argued that the school board has not been straightforward and noted specifically that “Fishweir Elementary” which “we’ve been told” was the rallying cry for the campaign was not slated for updates until eleven years on in the actual plan. Our own school board member, Charlotte Joyce, has likewise warned us that Fishweir will not be updated for a decade or more, as though this should diminish our support for the school board’s plan.

Um, was Joyce trying to dissuade the parents from supporting the referendum?

Did she say to them, don't bother supporting it because help for your school is way down the list, I mean except for the five dollar per square foot expenditure for safety and the maintenance backlog, things I bet she didn't mention.

We know her and White are simpatico about not supporting the referendum but I wonder what has she said to other council members and parents too?

Mrs. Joyce has been a tremendous disappointment thus far, she has a chance to be part of something special but instead she obstructs at every turn.

Image result for charlotte joyce

It's been a couple days, so let me explain why proportional spending is a bad idea. (draft)

Several members of the city council want, no, are demanding that the school board split any tax referendum money with charter schools proportionally, that is based on a per pupil allotment. Now some people might think that is fair but it isn't and let me explain why.

First, all school do get a per pupil share of operational funds, money that is used to run the day to day operations at the schools, and the money is pretty universal, unless you are at the KIPP school then it's off the charts but I digress. Charter and public schools alike get a similar amount per student.

Then there is capital funds. That money is put into a big pot and then given out based on needs. Duval has some of the oldest schools in Florida and because of cuts from Tallahassee there are a lot of needs, more so than the typical charter school which for the most part are just a few years old. 

It's a little more complicated too because most charters are for profits and more money does not necessarily mean more money for the school, but probably means more  money for their owners.

Let me explain it another way. Say I run a non profit that trains and gives dogs to veterans suffering PTSD, people that really needed them, that would be good. If the legislature came along and said I had to give them to just anyone whether they needed them or not, well that would be bad. Say I had forty dogs, and 80 people wanted one, but only forty people needed, should I split the dogs between those that want them and need them, or just give them to those people that needed them? 

I imagine we all agree the dogs, a precious resource, should go to those people that needed them, rather than those people that might just want them. Well sadly everyone but the City Council that is. That's the difference between proportional sharing and equitable sharing.

The district has come up with a fair plan based on need, that includes charters, the city council and their donors sadly, don't want a plan based on fairness, and they are willing to drag the entire city down for a chance they will get paid, and that's shameful.

Image result for equal versus equitable

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Tommy Hazouri, says 211 million is nothing, sets price for extortion (draft)

Last night's city council meeting where not unexpected was still disappointing.

From Scott Wilson clearing the gallery to various members swearing fealty to the civic council, people had a lot to choose from on the disappointment menu.

Perhaps most disappointing however was Tommy Hazouri. Him knowing more than most about our schools needs and that the school board does not work for city council did not stop him from saying some outrageous things.

Hazouri said since 11 percent of Duval kids were in charter schools they should get 11 percent of the referendum and that was only 211 million dollars, he said it like it was nothing. He said he was disappointed that the board didn't feel the need to give charters that money and with contempt in his voice let them know.

Think about that, the former mayor first dismissed 211 million dollars like it was nothing, and then scolded the school board for not giving into the city council's extortion. This is what politics has become. We are Transactionville and Hazouri has embraced it, except what he wants only benefits him.

Hazouri endorsed Lenny Curry and then betrayed the city's schools and children and he was rewarded for it by becoming the vice president of the council and I am sure this time next year he expects to be president.

Here is the thing though, we have a mayor and a bunch of council members who have shown that they are willing to shirk their duties on behalf of  handful of donors and throw kids under the bus, does anyone think they are going to keep their backroom deal with Hazouri?

My bet is they won't and Hazouri will have thrown away his reputation and legacy for nothing and that will actually be a good day because anyone willing to sell out children for personal gain deserves neither.

Tommy ya done messed up.
Image result for tommy hazouri

Tommy it's not how you start, its how you finished and you have finished poorly.


The school board has stopped being nice and started being real

So a brief summary

The city council voted to withdraw the referendum because reasons

The school board decided to hire lawyers, finally, because it was the right thing to  do

The OGC told them to cease and desist because of incompetency

And now the school board has said, not so fast you don't tell us what to do.


I think this is long overdue but at the same time greatly appreciated.

And I have to say I am loving this new woke Grymes as well.

From the Times Union,

“We’re in this position because we’ve been trying to do the right thing,” School Board member Cheryl Grymes said. “It’s time for us to put our big pants on.”

The City Council had to know this day was coming. They have given the city a black eye I hope we don't soon forget.

Councilman Rory Diamond continues to struggle with basic numbers..

and decency, he struggles with decency too but that's another post.

I know what it is like to struggle with math. I based my college majors on which ones needed the least amount of math. When I was getting my degree I only had a one credit stat class to take, and I ended up having to take it twice. So Rory, I get it.

The thing is Rory is struggling with basic numbers.  

The other day the school board voted 4-3 to support the supers plan to share with charters, a vote the city council weaponized by the way, and Diamond said the council didn't support the plan. As bad at math as I am, I know I would rather have 4 dollars than three.

This problem showed itself again last night.

From the Times Union,
Several council members put the blame on the School Board for their decision to withdraw the legislation, saying the board has not been flexible about resolving concerns raised by council members, including about sharing more of the sales tax money with charter schools.
Diamond argued the the best way forward would to withdraw the legislation and give the School Board time to come back with a fresh request that “a majority of Jacksonville can support.”
Um a recent poll said 56 percent of the city supported the referendum, another poll said 70 percent.

Does Rory not understand that 56 or 70 percent of anything is a majority?

Or is he just being disingenuous, does we hope nobody notices he is trying to trick people? My bet is that is it.

Rory represents all that is wrong with the city, he is either incompetent or he thinks we are.

Come on Beaches, this was the best you could do?

  Image result for rory diamond

Charlotte Joyce continues to disappoint

At this point we have to start wondering why Joyce ran for the school board. Was it to put a line on a resume? Was it to make her family proud? Because it sure doesn’t seem to be to make a difference.
Joyce has been the one stick in the mud in the referendum process a role I expected Willie to have but even he has been fairly consistent with my support, which means they are both proving me wrong, with Joyce taking the role as shill for the business and reform community.
This is a once in a generation event that she has the opportunity to be part of. She is part of a board that can make a greater impact than probably every other board that came before and maybe every other board that will come afterwards, but instead of stepping up, she continuously drags her heals and finds excuses.  
If Joyce does not want to make an impact on children’s lives, then why is she there. That is a question we should all be asking ourselves.
To read more, click the link:


Outside council is okay for the JEA but not okay for the School Board, of for %$#s sake

The JEA has made a request to hire outside council. You see the OGC is good at screwing over children and schools, and usurping the duly elected school board, but not so good at privatizing publicly owned utilities.

Friends there ridiculously bad behavior continues.

So to sum up, the OGC ignored conflicts of interests, misrepresented themselves, changed the meaning of words and ignored statutes and recent court decisions, and despite all this they are ordering the school district not the hire outside council.

Hoo boy, my grandother would call that chutzpah. I wouldn't be so polite.

This is Jacksonville friends, where we aren't being led, we are being ruled.

To read more, click the link,

With friends like the city council, the district’s schools and children don’t need enemies

With friends like the city council, the district’s schools and children don’t need enemies
Several council members expressed their love of our schools and children. They talked about how they wanted the referendum to pass so badly too, but then followed with a but.
You see they love our schools and children so much, they support the referendum so much, that despite a recent poll where 56 percent of the city said they supported it, they couldn’t vote for it. Now that’s love right.
Imagine loving your mother so much you won’t give her the medicine she needs or your kids so much you won’t feed them or your dog so much, well you are getting the point.
They aren’t being cruel, they aren’t being capricious, they aren’t selling out the city’s children and schools on behalf of a handful of donors when they vote to sell out the city’s children and schools on behalf of a handful of donors, nope they are doing it because they love, and maybe just a little too much.
The city council would have you believe they took a no brainer, supporting the city’s schools and children, supporting jobs, attracting businesses, revitalizing communities, stopping or slowing flight to the suburbs, and a huge economic stimulus and turned it into a black eye for the city, all for love, all because they just care so much. Well we know the truth.
The thing is we all know why they have done what they done, it's on behalf of their donors whose interests they care about, not the interests of the city. 
Civic Council Members- Curry campaign and Pac Donations
Douglas Baer- 2,500
John Baker- 3,000- 75,000
Edward Burr- 1,000- 4,000
Gary Chartrand- 2,000 - 50,000
Tim Cost- 1,000
Susan Wiles- 1,000- 500
Steven Halverson- 1,000
Preston Haskell- 2,000- 10.000
Rusty Newton- 2,500
Peter Rummell- 2.000- 50,000

Then there is this too,
The civic council loves charter schools but they really love the KIPP School and the Tiger Academy.
John Baker- KIPP Charter

Gary Chartrand- KIPP Charter

Daniel Edelman- KIPP Charter

John Baker, Tiger Academy

Eric Mann, Tiger Academy 

Well with friends like them, the city’s schools and children certainly don’t need enemies.
I hope people remember what they have done.

Monday, August 26, 2019

For #@%&s sake, How is Rory Diamond on the City Council

Diamond has been one of the stringent foes of the sales tax referendum he has-

Said only children who go to charters have a chance.

Brought a charter school lady to speak at the joint school board and city council meeting

And introduced a resolution demanding the school board share on a proportional basis with charter schools,

But what he said today has to be the last straw.

This was his comment on Twitter about an article in the Times Union that talked about the board approving the supers plan to share with charters.


Is he just trying to lie to the lady who posted the original tweet? Does he not know how numbers work. This is truly baffling.

In my book fighting against the city's schools and children on behalf of a handful of rich donors makes Diamond a bad guy, not knowing how numbers work (though I guess he could have just been lying) makes him a, well you know.

This is what passes for leadership in Jacksonville. We deserve and can do better.

To read the article where it says the board passed the plan 4-3, click the link.

This referendum fight has been unlike any other.. anywhere and ever.

I hope people understand how different the referendum process has been here than elsewhere.
Up till now, school boards have gone to city councils and told them what they wanted and city councils have done it. The process was no more than a formality.
There hasn’t been never ending questions or specious demands, never before.
Then the various boards came up with how they would spend the money and share with charters or not.
From the Times Union,
  Duval Schools is one of a small handful of large state school districts that doesn’t currently receive funding from a sales tax or impact fee. School districts in Alachua, Orange and Polk County don’t share its sales tax with charter schools at all. Conversely, Hillsborough shares based on need depending on a charter school’s not-for-profit and ownership status.
I hope people get that, 3 districts don't share, one does based on need, and they all made their decisions on their own, without interference from the city government.
So why is Duval county different? Why do we have a mayor and city council that are willing to shirk their responsibilities and fight against schools and children? Well friends it’s because they have been bought off by a small cabal of rich, and mostly white men, who want public education to fail. Some because they see a money making opportunity while others have a religious like hatred of public ed. I suspect there is some racism and sexism involved as well too.
You ever watch Sesame street where they would have those one thing is unlike the other bits? Well that’s Jacksonville, we aren’t interested in doing things the right or decent way, just the way that sees a handful of rich donors get whatever they want and the shame of it.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Jacksonville Public Education supporters need to have a busy few days

First Monday at 9 a.m. the school board and super are meeting to consider giving even more considerations to charter schools. They have to be exhausted. I know I am and all I do is bang on a keyboard. That being said I think it would be a terrible mistake for them to give into extortion and there current plan is already more than fair.

If you believe the plan is fair, drop them a note and let them know.,,,,,,,

Then Tuesday night the city council meets and the more people that show up to let them know they support our schools the better. The meeting starts at 5 and if you want to get a speakers card you should probably show up a little bit before that.

If you can't make it and even if you can, a note to them, urging them to support the referendum couldn't hurt.,

Friends, this has without a doubt given the city a black eye and revealed who the mayor and majority of the city council really support. It's time we told them they should work for the people, and not just a handful of donors.

Matt Carlucci attempts to explain his change in tune about the referendum.

I am very upset about his change in tune. I feel that if the city council had to go on the record it would have been hard for more members to vote against the referendum, voting against schools and children  so wealthy donors can get paid is a bad look, but even if they did I figured finally the school board would sue, so I was actually optimistic heading into Tuesday until Carlucci dropped his bombshell on Friday.

On a side note, on Wednesday he was at a community meeting where he gave no indication of his change of heart.

Anyhoo here is a note he sent some constituents.

Image may contain: text

He admits that December 15th is doable, which is about when I was thinking the vote would be for a while now. Since that is the case and the needs are so great why not?

I also think that it's important we do the referendum this year too, because I believe Tallahassee will.
pass some more onerous legislation this spring.

Well I don't agree with him and I am not sure if I believe him, but I thought I would put this out there.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Tell the school board not to give into the Mayor and City Council's bullying

The school board is having a special meeting where the are going to discuss sharing the tax referendum with charters this Monday at 9.

I think the super and board with one exception have acted admirably through this debacle. That being said they have suffered withering attacks and may be considering giving into the city council's outrageous demands that the tax referendum money be shared on a proportional basis with charters.  I think this would be a monumental mistake but some of them might be thinking this is the only way they might get anything.

I am going to write the board and urge them not to give into the city council's bad behavior. I am going to write them and urge them to stick with their plan which I believe is already more than fair.

It is no coincidence that 29 out of the city's 32 charter schools are leased and that's because charters can use capital funds to pay their lease holders. More money to charters does not mean more funds for those schools but more money for their owners.

Couple this with the deep and pressing needs that the district has then it should be a no brainer not to give into the council's demands, though I guess the council supporting the referendum should have been a no brainer too.

Here are the board and super's emails, I urge you to urge them to continue to do the right thing and to let them know you stand with them in this fight.,,,,,,,

Matt Carlucci lets the city down, was he ever really sincere

We know why Hazouri has opposed the sales tax referendum, he thinks he will be city council president next year and this last bite of the apple was worth his betrayal to him.

Carlucci, for him to suddenly turn heal is a head scratcher. He seemed to be a sincere supporter of the sales tax referendum but now I wonder if he ever really was.

From the Times Union,

Jacksonville City Council member Matt Carlucci said Friday he will offer an amendment Tuesday putting a sales tax referendum for schools on the November 2020 ballot rather than this November.
An amendment by Carlucci at the City Council meeting would mark a major shift in his stance. Carlucci has been one of council’s most vocal advocates for putting the half-cent sales tax referendum on the Nov. 5 ballot, saying “more delay, more decay” if voters don’t have a chance to cast ballots on a sales tax.
He said he will offer the amendment because it would be difficult for elections officials to organize a special election between now and Nov. 5. In addition, he said in a statement that a successful referendum vote is “crucial to the future of the public school system, and that referendum should be held when the chance of success is greatest.”
Ugh and what a specious reason, this hasn't been about a November vote for sometime and he knows that too. 
Having a vote Tuesday was the best possible outcome even if the city council would have voted no. People's votes would have been on the record and who wants to bet some council members were having cold feet about voting against the city's children, but even if it was voted down, the school board could finally sue and I have no doubt they would prevail in a court of law.
Furthermore if we go into 2020 for the referendum I have no doubt Tallahassee is going to pass a law making proportional sharing mandatory.  
Carlucci made a backroom deal to stick a stake in the heart of our schools and his specious reason, not enough time for a November election proves it and worse it's insulting because he has to know we know it.
This was a bad day for Jacksonville.  

Friday, August 23, 2019

Florida's charter school district spends 18 thousand per student, most public schools around 9 (draft)

Tallahassee says that if public schools and charters compete education will improve. If that's the case why do they keep rigging the game in favor of charters? The truth is they want public ed to fail so they can be replaced with a hodge podge of charters and vouchers schools and who wants to bet when that happens high stakes testing won't be so important to them.

Jefferson County has three schools in their district which were taken over by charters and there they spend about 18k per student, while the average public school spends 9.

Somerset Elementary-  18,031
Somerset Middle- 13,688
Somerset High school- 18,971

Remember when pubic schools were sold as being able to do it cheaper and better?

Throw in the state board of education wants to allocate 174 million for charters and zero for public schools with PECO funds and when you factor in inflation cut education spending, then what more proof do you need?

How about the recent ballyhooed mental health education initiative? What could the problem be there? Well there is a couple.

From Orlando Weekly,

Last month, Florida Department of Education passed a new rule requiring five hours of mental health instruction for students in the state. 

Monday, it became clear that there was no plan on how that would be funded. 

School board member Angie Gallo confirmed it was an unfunded mandate at the Orange County legislative delegation in response to questions from Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando.

Hmm so the schools have to pick up the tax, sorry the public schools do, as voucher schools and charters are exempt.

You know because those kids don't need any mental health education.


Tallahassee sets public schools up to fail, and rigs the game in favor of charters and that is the bottom line.

To read more how the game is rigged, click the link,

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Florida starves education on one hand, gives 500 million rebate to the rich on the other

Florida is 46th in education spending and has a shortfall of 3,500 teachers, and the state board of education just voted when you factor in inflation to cut funding and that's just one of our problems. If I was the parent of one of thousands of disabled children waiting for a Medicaid waiver I would be furious to. But instead of addressing either of those issues or so many more, Florida is giving a 500 million dollar rebate to some of the states wealthiest corporations.

From the Sun Sentinel, 

Once upon a time, big corporations and their trade groups each got by with no more than one or two hired guns in Tallahassee. That’s why Gov. Reubin Askew was able to take them all on and create Florida’s corporate income tax in 1971. 

Ever since, the lobbyists and their allies in the Legislature have wasted no opportunity to whittle away at that tax. Last year, with no clue and almost no concern for what it would cost, lawmakers enacted a scheme that’s about to give an estimated $540 million in refunds to the roughly one percent of Florida corporations that earn enough to even pay the tax. 

By comparison, that’s more than the $330 million the politicians are wailing about losing from the Seminole Tribe because of a stalemate over rival gambling at race tracks. It’s more money than the $125 million the Legislature raided from the state’s affordable housing trust fund to spend on its priorities. It’s money that should have been put into Florida’s lagging schools or into controlling the algae blooms that hazard public health and tourism, rather than engorging corporate profits.

We printed an extensive report on that grand giveaway in Monday’s Sun Sentinel. If you missed the article, here’s a link to it:

Worse, it’s money that will likely be squandered again next year. The Legislature had an opportunity this spring to rectify last year’s mistake. Instead, it extended the givebacks for another two years, along with other technical tax changes that strongly favor big businesses.

Friends, Tallahassee doesn't care about it's citizens, not unless you can make big campaign contributions, next election can we please vote for our interests instead of theirs? 


Not one article about the state board of education meeting in the local media

And it's not like nothing happened, they announced when you factor in inflation a drop in education funding, 174 million in PECO funds for charters and nothing for public education, 90 million more for charters and vouchers and a member of the board called children raw materials and questioned if colleges were getting good ones.

You know children, nothing but raw materials to the state board of education.

That's not insignificant, but I guess insignificant enough not to make the local news. I get it, the tax referendum sucks up a lot of oxygen, but some big things happened yesterday that the people in Jax deserved and should be informed about.

Here are some links to articles about it.

Or if you want to watch it,

So much of what happens in Jacksonville starts in Tallahassee and we need our media to pay closer attention.

Oh and just so you know, there isn't one educator on the state board, go figure, because why would there be.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

State board of education votes to continue to starve public ed.

And they did so with a smile.

The BOE voted to increase public education spending by 1.1 percent, about fifty dollars a student.

Um the inflation rate is 1.8 percent, so basically they voted to fund public ed less than they did this year.

So much for those claims they were going to work on teacher salaries right?

From the Pensacola News Journal,

"Almost every single time, every single speech that I've been with him, he has hinted strongly — and it's been in the press — that we need to do far, far more to elevate and celebrate the teaching profession. I'm hopeful, and I think it's going to happen, that this legislative session will be a landmark teacher compensation package for our school teachers," Corcoran said to applause.

Um if they aren't going to add money to the per pupil allocation money that districts use to run the schools, then this tells me its going to another dumbass merit pay scheme, that rewards a few and screws over the majority, best and $#%ing brightest anyone?

Sorry, I am saucy but this is outrageous.

Well friends Tallahassee better do something because we have a huge shortage of teachers. The Orlando Sentinel reported recently we are down 3,500

When you factor in inflation we are over a thousand dollars below what we should be to meet what we spent in 2007.

The recession has been over for nearly a decade but Tallahassee has continued to starve public ed. Can there be any doubt that the destruction of public ed and the teaching profession is their goal?


Here is a statement of the FEA put out.

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State Board of Education votes to SCREW public education, again

They voted to increase public education spending by 1.1 percent, about fifty dollars a student.

Um the inflation rate is 1.8 percent, so basically they voted to fund public ed less than they did this year.

So much for those claims they were going to work on teacher salaries right?

From the Pensacola News Journal,

"Almost every single time, every single speech that I've been with him, he has hinted strongly — and it's been in the press — that we need to do far, far more to elevate and celebrate the teaching profession. I'm hopeful, and I think it's going to happen, that this legislative session will be a landmark teacher compensation package for our school teachers," Corcoran said to applause.

Um if they aren't going to add money to the per pupil allocation money that districts use to run the schools, then this tells me its going to another dumbass merit pay scheme, that rewards a few and screws over the majority, best and $#%ing brightest anyone?

Sorry, I am saucy but this is outrageous.

Well friends Tallahassee better do something because we have a huge shortage of teachers. The Orlando Sentinel reported recently we are down 3,500

When you factor in inflation we are over a thousand dollars below what we should be to meet what we spent in 2007.

The recession has been over for nearly a decade but Tallahassee has continued to starve public ed. Can there be any doubt that the destruction of public ed and the teaching profession is their goal?


Here is a statement of the FEA put out.

174 million for charters, zero for public schools

That was the latest proposal at the state board of education today, up 16 million from last year, you know because we have plenty of money for charters.

Remember when charters were sold as being able to do it better and cheaper?

Then a lot of people might not know it but Districts are already required to share maintenance dollars with charters.

In 2018 Duval gave 3.8 million dollars alone, and they did so while holding their schools together with chewing gum and shoestrings.

Friends, I don't know what else to say except if you are as outraged as I, share the picture.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Lenny Curry doesn't care how bad the corruption in his administration looks

Sam Mousa must know where the bodies are buried. Not since Scott Shine has the establishment tried to protect someone so much. On the heels of Mousa being rewarded for trying to extort the school district out of neatly a half million dollars with a no bid sic figure contract City Hall changed its rules to benefit Mousa.

From the Times Union,
Sam Mousa, Jacksonville City Hall’s recently retired top administrator, received clearance earlier this summer to work for the Jacksonville Jaguars on their proposed Lot J development, a relationship that could otherwise have been prohibited by the city’s ethics code because of his direct involvement in the project as a city employee.
Brian Hughes, who replaced Mousa as Mayor Lenny Curry’s chief administrative officer after he retired on June 28, wrote a letter on July 1 stating that it would be in the “best interests of the public” for Mousa to consult the Jaguars on the project, citing his “unique and valuable perspective and experience” related to the city’s sports complex area. He wrote that Mousa’s service would not include any lobbying.
The city’s ethics code contains a revolving-door provision that restricts former employees from working on behalf of outside groups on matters they were involved in while working for the city. However, it also allows former employees with “professional, scientific and technological backgrounds” from engaging in work that could otherwise be prohibited if the city declares doing so would be in the public’s best interest.

The public's interests or Curry's interests? 

If you can ignore what Mousa did with the school board how can you ignore what he did with Kids Hope Alliance where he tried to pressure its director to give up 10 thousand dollar grants to voters Curry was wooing. Well apparently city hall can.

I wish Curry and City Hall cared a tenth as much about the city's children as they do about Mousa.

Friends, we aren't being led, we are being ruled.