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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

DCPS is a terrible place to work, and don't take my word for it, take theirs. (draft)

 First, let me say at one point, I loved being a teacher. It may have been the first thing I told people when I met them because I was so proud of my job. It's not that way anymore. Now I feel stuck doing a job I may still be pretty good at but don't have a passion for, a passion that was chipped away at by both the district and state. 

I also want people to know that there are so many great things going on in the district, dedicated teachers, hard-working students, and caring and supportive parents. I just believe most of these great things happen despite the district and state, not because of them or with their assistance. 

Finally, before I start, I wanted to say, we will never be the district we could be as long as we marginalize, overwork, and treat our teachers as if they were easily replaceable, never and it is way past time the district understood that, and I blame the district for most of above. 

So we have the millage vote coming up. A few years back, when the district announced the referendum, I was initially against it. Not because we didn't need it, we desperately do, but because it wouldn't address school salaries that were just as bad. As usual, the district decided to take care of staff last. I supported it after the district told me they would use the 500k a month they said they were spending on emergency maintenance on salary. They eventually did, almost two years after the referendum passed. 

To encourage people to vote for the millage, the district is posting videos from teachers, some of whom have left, who talk about how crappy it is to work for the district. Here is the catch, they barely talk about salary at all.

With dramatic music, Kayla talks about how her life is worth more and being able to spend time with her family and friends is important. She implies that she was working from 7 in the morning to 10 at night and then at the very end mentions she can't pay her bills and would have to get a second job during the summer, well, actually a job because teachers are technically laid off then. Her first thought was to talk about all the demands and unpaid overtime hours she had to do.

Next, Rhonda speaks about all the different students that veteran teachers have had to deal with. She doesn't mention salary at all, but let's talk about veteran teachers. There are about 1500 lifers in the district, and we, because I am one of them, will be out tens of millions from our salaries and retirement when it is all said and done. In the last five years, I am out a back of the napkin guess, 50k from what I was promised alone when I started because veterans have seen their salaries go backward. 

The last video was with a principal named Justin, who talks about a lack of resources, and then the countless hours that teachers put in, um, why the $@#& should teachers have to put in countless hours, and how is the millage rate going to fix that? 

To be fair, there were two videos with teachers talking about having to pay bills and spend their own money on resources, two constant sources of headaches for many.

Where money is important, heck super important, it's far from the only problem. Workload, stress, a lack of support, and the constant drip drip drip of disrespect, from the district and state all, play a huge role, one I would argue is more significant than money because everyone who entered the profession knows they won't be rich, I mean unless they start a charter school, but that is another story.

So I support the millage increase, and I encourage you to do so as well. Just know even if it passes, things won't change much unless the district changes how it treats its staff, something they have shown little inclination to do.

To watch more teacher videos, click the link,

Thursday, June 23, 2022

DCPS, Greene, the school board, they are clueless, I said it but most of us are thining it.

 Check out this Instagram video put out by the district.

I want to ask the guy if he is okay, he looks like one of those guys held captive and forced to give a speech. Richard, please use the safe word if you are okay! 

With sad music included it talks about how important teachers are with an eye toward voting for the millage rate and quite frankly it's full of @#^$. 

The sad man says when good teachers leave the district is forced to put subs in the classroom, well not the last two years as the district didn't prepare for the exodus, more likely another teacher was forced to give up their planning which just creates more problems.

The video, however, doesn't talk about why teachers leave and that's probably because where money is a big deal, teachers especially veteran teachers are grossly underpaid, it's far from the only reason teachers leave, and DCPS should be honest about their role in the staff exodus and then fix it.

DCPS is a shitty,  not the best employer. In addition to poor pay, they expect too much and show little regard for their staff. Teachers aren't reluctantly leaving as the video replies (emotional manipulation anyone) they are rushing for the exit at a whiff of anything new. All three legs of the stool are broken. 

I had a boss once who was shitty at their job and mean. The thing is you have to pick one. If they were shitty and nice, I could go well at least they are nice, and vice versa, I could say well they may be mean but they are really good at their job. Currently by and large we have shitty and mean and what we need is competent and caring, because friends that will make up for a lack of money to a point. 

The district should think about how their policies affect staff before they enact any policy, but they don't. They never consider how what they do affects staff, never. In the 20-21 school year I worked harder than I ever had before, so what was my reward in 21-22, more work. 

Then would it kill the district to stick up for teachers? We have been being called pedophiles and groomers for months, what we can teach has been limited and what we can say has been curtailed and the super and board haven't said a word. They haven't spoken up for us as far as I can tell once. Well, friends at some point, and that point passed long ago to me, their silence became complicity. If they care about the staff they have made it almost completely impossible to tell. 

Teachers don't become teachers to be rich, we know that going in, but it used to be in lieu of wealth we had both support and respect, well friends, those things are now long in our rear video and we have become nothing but easily replaceable cogs in the eyes of many and I don't want to say this is just a DCPS thing but like most things, DCPS takes bad things and makes them worse. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

It's time for teachers to stop giving DCPS interest free loans

 Full disclosure, I have been in the district for 22 years and have always used optional pay. The thing is in years past they distributed the money in a timely manner always within 2 weeks of the last regular check. This year the district said nope we're going to keep your money and collect interest a little longer and good luck to you. When I pointed out that this was hurting teachers, the district shrugged its shoulders and basically said tough luck.    

Two different readers reached out to me with plans that people could use, but whether you use them or do something else when the district stops carrying about the well-being of their staff, it's past time we stopped putting them in positions that could negatively affect our lives. 

Suggestion 1

Hey man, So this option pay thing is crap. At the suggestion of my wife’s boss, (who saved our asses by paying her a week early today) We will be opening a separate bank account at our bank that is not tied to our current checking account and I will be submitting forms to DCPS to have the amount they would normally hold for equalization pay sent directly to this other bank account. This way, I never see it, it’s held separate and I’m not at the mercy of DCPS whims on when they want to pay me my summer money, and I accumulate any interest and they do not. Pass this idea along as you see fit. I know a lot of people do the equalizer pay so they never see that money during the year and aren’t tempted to spend it and this way, I’ll never see it either, but it’ll be there when I’m ready to use it in the summer. Damn the man! And remember $275k doesn’t go as far as it used to …

Suggestion 2

Blogger doesn't want me to post this comment, so here it is. You may use it as a main post if you want: As I ponder this ridiculous situation, I have a solution for the superintendent, school board, and union to consider. Does anyone remember Christmas Club accounts? In the past, people would start an account in late December or early January, and pay into it every paycheck. The amount would accumulate and people absolutely could not tap the funds until the end of October or early November when the account matured. Then, they had the money they wanted to buy presents and provide the holiday celebration they wanted for their family. DCPS could do the same. The difference between a regular and optional paycheck is 9.something hours. Why doesn't the district set up a restricted savings account with a local credit union? Then, every payday, deposit the difference into the account. The optional pay employee cannot touch the money until June. Then, the account matures. There's no worrying about the dates, etc. etc. The money becomes available to the optional pay employee who can tap into the account as needed. There could be two options: money available all at once, or the funds will be released 25% at a time (we're talking 4 paychecks) across the summer into the employee's regular account. That would eliminate the need for the end of June release of 4 paychecks day after day to satisfy the district's need to clear out their liabilities before the end of the fiscal year, which is June 30. Win-win-win across the board! What say you, Diana Greene? School Board? Teri Brady?

Monday, June 20, 2022

DCPS Superintendent number 7 in pay, teachers 40th

Greene is 7th in superintendent Salary, and its teachers are 40th. This while teachers are borrowing money from friends and family, skipping bills, postponing vacations, and getting second jobs to make ends meet. I find that manifestly gross, only made worse by Greene gleefully acknowledging this fact. 

At the 1:45 mark of the video in the link below, Greene says she feels comfortable with the number 7 salary ranking since teachers were number 7, and this was an example of her leadership. 

Um, yay we're number 7, sigh.

Teachers however aren't number 7 they are number 40.

Now I get it, some of her defenders will say she meant of the seven largest school districts, to which I would reply words matter and she didn't say that, and in fact, her lack of words about all the attacks on teachers, the teaching of history and on the LBGTQ community should show us all she shouldn't have a job let alone a raise.

The board and video give Greene credit for the graduation rate which dipped just a tad, as a reason she should have her 9.1 percent raise, but do you know where graduation rates are also up? EVERYWHERE!!!! Giving Green credit for the rise of graduation rates is like blaming Biden for the price of gas. You can do it, but it's dumb.

Greene and the school board are tone-deaf. This is yet another example of how teachers are little more than easily replaceable cogs to them. 

To find out how much superintendents statewide make, click the link.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Greene responds to a change in optional pay schedule

 I asked teachers if having optional pay moved back a full week was going to hurt them, cause them to dip into savings, skip bills, etc. and the overwhelming response was yes.

I deleted the names, compiled the responses, and sent them to the district hoping they could move up the optional pay date this year or at least make a new policy that going forward optional pay would be released no more than two weeks after the last paycheck.

Below is Greene's response that I will present without comment.

Though before you read it, I want to remind people, that optional pay is staff's money, they have already earned it, that money does not belong to the district, and that Greene just accepted a 25k raise to 300k, which is more than the mayor and chief of police make... combined.

Mr. Guerrieri,


As you are aware, certain 10-month employees (including teachers) have the option to spread their regular pay (22 checks) to either 25 or 26 checks (depending on the employee group). This “Optional Pay Plan” is available to employees but is not required.  The optional pay checks begin after the employee’s last regular paycheck in June. The dates are negotiated with and agreed to by the union. While there is some variation from year to year, the schedule remains substantively the same.   The schedule is posted all year on our website so that employees are aware of the specific pay dates.  Additionally, the union sends this schedule to employees several times throughout the year.


For the 2021-2022 school year, the last regular paycheck for employees on the optional pay plan was June 3, 2022. Below is a comparison of the optional pay plan dates between the 2021-2022 school year and the 2020-2021 school year. As you can see, there is only a minor difference between last year’s schedule and the current schedule. 



We will continue to provide this option for employees who choose to use it.  Employees do have an option to opt out of the Optional Plan each year if they do not want to remain on the Optional Pay schedule.  To do so, they should complete the Optional Pay Plan Rescind form.


Thank you for sharing the feedback you have received from employees.  We will use it to ensure there is added visibility of the annual schedule. If you have any questions regarding the employee pay calendar, please contact Michelle Begley, Chief Financial Officer, at


Kind regards,

What happens when teachers miss just one week of salary

 First I want to remind everyine, that summer pay is teachers and staffs money, they have already earned it. If the district refused to help them out this year, they should definitely create a policy where summer pay is distributed no more than two weeks after the last paycheck, the way it usually was until last year when the district started moving the distribution dates back. 

This is the question I asked, Duval teacher friends, are any of you going to have to dip into your savings or going to feel it because DCPS pushed back when they were releasing summer pay? You can private message me if you want.

A couple of people told me they were going to be okay because they had started their second jobs something I also find very troubleing.

Finally, if you were on the fence about the millage increase hopefully this will get you off of it.

I have deleted the names but each line was an individual comment.

In previous years, wasn't the regular pay date in June used (2 weeks between paychecks), then the payout the last few days of the month? It's going g to be tight for us, and yes, we did have to go into our savings because their is no paycheck 2 weeks after the previous one.

Note that many teachers don’t have any cushion so saving isn’t an option either.

Had to take out a line of credit. I don’t have any savings.

I had to transfer from savings to cover the late paycheck.

Yes, them moving the summer pay has impacted me. I had to pay some bills with credit and they had an optional pay calendar from 2022-2023 that I mistakenly was that looked like we would be paid earlier.

I'm glad you said it. The pay dates are ridiculous. All this mental health stuff is just pr. We are near hyper inflation and teachers have wait 3 weeks to get paid!!!!

I’ve Had To Borrow Money From My Parents And My Friends In Order To Get Gas In My Car And Eat This Week. I had no idea that we were getting paid and it’s really causing me to struggle.

I cannot believe it. What is the justification? Yes, we are both working AND dipping into savings because they did not pay us TODAY!!!

Yes. Thank you downtown, I'll call internet and electric companies and see if all the "appreciation" I've accrued can pay their bills.

Yep. We will be dipping into savings, this week.

I’m going to have to withdraw from my Roth IRA.

 I had to go into my savings to make my car payment because it's on auto draft. The other bills, I'm just paying late. 
Chris Guerrieri I had to cancel automatic payments too which means I’m incurring late fees.

Im sure this would mess a lot of teachers up! Single moms, others that live and care for their parents / grandparents, some that are trying to take an actual vacation!

It will not mess me up to bad as I am the second income. I will dip into savings a little but will get this back the next week. I know others though that this is going to screw badly. This is ridiculous for them to give no reason for it. One person I know will not be able to pay bills. Is her JEA going to wait?

I had to borrow money from my brother. Its embarrassing. 🙁