Scott Shine’s gutless response to 7069

After presenting himself as a selfless fighter against House Bill 7069 (he emailed or maybe texted his good friend Aaron bean who voted for the bill), a bill he has also lauded because he believe union teachers will lose their jobs, he had a rather gutless reaction as to what the board should do next.

First he said we should not engage in a law suit because we should not anger the Florida legislature and that they would somehow punish the district. He also said many members of the legislature didn’t want to vote for it but they did because they were scared of the speaker of the house and various committee chairs, I guess they may be gut less as well.

As bad as that is what he said next was worse.

From the Times Union:

Shine said most legislators didn’t know the ramifications of the education law before they voted on it, but they were pressured by House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land ‘O Lakes and powerful legislative committee leaders, who control the fate of most Tallahassee bills. Suing the state, Shine said, will only worsen the ongoing fight between Corcoran and statewide teachers unions, putting Duval in a vulnerable position.
“If I thought that litigation would work, I’d be on that like a bad rash,” Shine said. “But I don’t believe it will help us.”
If other districts’ lawsuits are successful, Duval could still benefit, Shine said.
If other districts’ lawsuits are successful, Duval could still benefit, Shine said.
Oy vey, he wants other people to fight, while Duval hunkers down in a bunker and sits it out. Isn’t that the definition of gutless?
I want school board members like Wright and Hershey who want to fight tooth and nail for our schools and children. I want board members who are passionate about our schools like Couch is.  
We already have a “bad rash” on the board, a rash who isn’t on the board because he cares about our schools and children but one who is interesting in placating people who would destroy our schools.
The entire board was for fighting back against HB 7069, though admittedly Smith-Juarez wanted to exhaust other avenues before agreeing to a law suit and Couch had financial concerns (Grymes was not in attendance), except for Scott Shine who was more concerned with not upsetting his friends in Tallahassee. 
When Shine said his friends didn’t know the ramifications and were pressured into voting for the bill he basically called them ignorant and gutless.
With a board member like Shine, we definitely don’t need enemies. 

Scott Shine takes money from the district’s blackmailer

This is the Urban Dictionary’s definition of black mail:

  Blackmail refers to a situation that arises when a person threatens another person with some form of punishment if they do not offer some form of concessions.

This is what Gary Chartrand recently did, from the Times Union: 

The Quality Education for All Fund, or QEA for short, wrote letters to all seven Duval School Board members, threatening to cut ties with the district if it reneges on an “implicit understanding” that the district would continue supporting the programs.
“We in the private community want to continue to honor our part of the Quality Education for All Fund commitment … but only if we can believe that we can count on the underlying partnership that has existed since we began this journey to improve public education for our most at risk students,” said the letter signed by former Jacksonville Jaguars owner and philanthropist J. Wayne Weaver, who is QEA chairman. Other signers include Gary Chartrand, Lawrence Dubow, Cindy Edelman, Matt Rapp and David Stein.
“If you are not willing to invest in those programs that have proven successful, we must consider that this bond has been broken and we will have no choice but to step back our part of this arrangement until a new understanding can be established.”
First there is a lot of debate and not much data that the programs have been successful but regardless the implication is clear. Chartrand is saying if you don’t do what we want you to do then we’e going to take away five million dollars. This is particularly egregious because of the budget shortfall and as a member of the state board of education, Chartrand as far as I can tell did nothing to stop the district’s budget from being negatively impacted. 
But here is the kicker, Shine has already taken a thousand dollars from Chartrand, he has taken money from the man who in effect is blackmailing the district.
Oy vey, I can’t make this up. Here is a man, Shine who is supposed to support and fight for our schools and instead he is gleefully taking money from a man, Gary Chartrand, a grocer by trade, who is attempting to hold the district hostage. He is saying, do what I want or I will inflict pain on you and Shine doesn’t seem to have a problem with it.
Also from the Times Union:
 Duval Board member Scott Shine said he believes the district should not endanger future private donations by failing to find a few hundred thousand more for QEA programs. “I think it’s important to maintain that relationship,” he said. “I’d like us to do what we can to fund the programs. …. We’re only a couple hundred thousand dollars away.”
Shine is bowing down to Chartrand there and the reason is he doesn’t represent the people of District 2 and instead he represents Chartrand and his bad ideas. Hey here is an idea, Chartrand and Shine are both millionaires, if they like those programs so much, then why don’t they fund them, Shine whines we’re only a few hundred thousand dollars away, and he does while most paraprofessionals live below the poverty line. Despicable!  
Neither of these men should be allowed anywhere near our schools let alone be in leadership positions. 
District 2, come on, you have to do better.

Another district joins the HB7069 lawsuit. Why hasn’t Duval? One word Chartrand

Today St. Lucie joined the law suit against the public school killing HB 7069.

From TCPalm:  ST. LUCIE COUNTY — The School District is joining the fight against recently passed education reforms. 

School Board members on Tuesday unanimously agreed to jump into a lawsuit, proposed by the Broward County district, challenging the constitutionality of House Bill 7069, a sweeping education bill that has been widely criticized by superintendents, teachers and parents statewide.

Duval sadly has not joined in on the law suit and I think I can explain why in one word, Chartrand.

Look how deferential the board is to the man even after he basically tried to blackmail them by threatening to withhold donations if they didn’t do what he wanted them to do. 

From the Times Union:

Board Chairwoman Paula Wright said they tried to meet the QEA’s request to the best of the district’s abilities. She said she hopes to set up a joint meeting between the QEA and the district boards.

“We value the QEA partnership and understand that their commitment and dedication to children is genuine,” she said.
Duval Board member Scott Shine said he believes the district should not endanger future private donations by failing to find a few hundred thousand more for QEA programs. “I think it’s important to maintain that relationship,” he said. “I’d like us to do what we can to fund the programs. …. We’re only a couple hundred thousand dollars away.”
He also predicted that state funding will improve for districts next year…
(Warren) Jones said the district’s top leaders should meet with QEA board members, hash out differences and explain their rationale.
“It is sad that it has gotten to this point,” he said. “The QEA board has done tremendous work in our community and they are to be commended for their philanthropy…. Unfortunately we have a limited budget to operate with.”

I believe Chartrand, undoubtedly a supporter of 7069 has the school board running scared and that is why they are not opposing it.

Gary Chartrand, a grocer by trade, while the district is going through a budget shortfall, tried to blackmail the board and instead of telling him to go ^%$& himself, several members of the board, two of which received money from Chartrand are bending over backwards to placate him and his thugish behavior. That is unacceptable.
The board and I mean other than just Couch and Hershey need to recognize they represent the people of Jacksonville not this millionaire who sent his children to expensive and exclusive private schools and who doesn’t even live in the city.
Come on School Board send this guy packing, his donation is not worth the cost.

Scott Shine is all over the map when talking about the district’s budget. Looks like he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

First District 2, we need to have a come to Jesus moment. You voted for this guy and sure he had name recognition and more money than all his opponents combined but he also lacked the knowledge and ability to do his job. You have to do better.

Think I am being to harsh? Continue reading and then let me know if you feel the same.

In the Times Union when talking about a budget shortfall and dipping into the district reserves to cover it. 

Duval Board member Scott Shine said he believes the district should not endanger future private donations by failing to find a few hundred thousand more for QEA programs. “I think it’s important to maintain that relationship,” he said. “I’d like us to do what we can to fund the programs …. We’re only a couple hundred thousand dollars away.”

He also predicted that state funding will improve for districts next year.
He says this year is just a blip, well here is what he said just a few weeks ago.
 He calls the budget shortfall created by HB 7069 catastrophic, not that he didn’t say he supported it anyway because union teachers will lose their jobs. He didn’t say, oh don’t worry, it’s just a bump in the road like he did in the Times Union.
Then before that in News4Jax, he didn’t think there would be any shortfall at all.
On Friday, Scott vetoed the $11.4 billion share of the Legislature’s budget that funded public education. The veto came after education advocates said the Legislature had not provided enough money for public schools in the new budget.
That veto means lawmakers will have to pass a new Florida education finance program bill during next week’s special session. Scott and legislative leaders have agreed to add $215 million to the program, increasing per-student spending by some $100 in the coming academic year.
“That should offset, completely, the financial impact that this bill (HB 7069) is going to have on the district,” Duval County Public School Board member Scott Shine told News4Jax Saturday. “We still have the other things in the bill to deal with, but the crisis, in my opinion, was the financial shortfall. It could’ve been anywhere from $8 million to $30 million, and that would have really put the district and a critical situation.”
Here everything is fine.
On the subject of our budget he says three different things, it’s catastrophic (but okay since union teachers will be fired), it’s a bump in the road, and we have nothing to worry about and will have plenty of money. 
It turns out he was only off by about 12 million
OY VEY!!!!!!!
District 2, you have to do better.

Becki Couch calls out Gary Chartrand and the board of the QEA

Gary Chartrand had a tantrum in the paper today when some if his ill advised pet projects appeared on the chopping block. Becki Couch who apparently doesn’t have time for his childish behavior called him out.

From the Times Union:

Several Duval School Board members said Florida’s newly signed education law also forces the district to cut nearly all department funding and to reel back or eliminate other valuable district programs.

“It seems pretty clear that we’re limited in funding,” Couch said. “If we have an increase in one area, we’ll have a decrease in another. You have to decide what you’re willing to give up.”
Couch and other Board members said QEA leaders could have helped the district’s lobbying effort in Tallahassee to block the new education law. They said few QEA leaders lent their support and political influence in that effort.
“We needed their help on this and we needed people to use their politic connections to support us,” Couch said.
Few local QEA leaders stepped up, to her knowledge, she said. One exception was Michael Ward, newly retired CSX CEO, who wrote a letter to Gov. Rick Scott
Chartrand said QEA leaders decided to “stay out of” the political battle. “We’re not a political organization; we’re here to help fund things that work. They’ve got their own lobbyist,” said Chartrand, who personally contributes tens of thousands of dollars to political campaigns and action committees.

Um what the beep?!? Gary Chartrand isn’t political??! This grocer bought himself a seat on the state board of education and he and his family has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to mostly far right and education hating candidates.

This guy is incredible! Look up chutzpah and you will find a picture of him. He’s trying to stay out of the political battle, ugh, that is laughable.

Chartrand is the villain of the story who uses his money as a club not to help education but to get what he wants.

Thanks Mrs. Couch for pointing out Chartrand’s hypocrisy.

When will Duval County fight back against House Bill 7069?

Other school districts are. Broward County just appropriated 25 k to do so because their legal counsel said it violated the following provisions.

From the Tampa Times:

– Violates the state’s constitutional requirement that bills focus on a single subject, by encompassing more than 60 separate measures.
– Circumvents the constitutional mandate that school boards operate, control and supervise all public schools in their district, with the creation of a separate “schools of hope” charter school system.
– Violates the constitutional rules regarding ad valorem taxes for schools, with the requirement that districts distribute a portion of their capital funding tax revenue to charter schools.
“Although I believe this is a full and accurate review of the legislation, I am sure there are additional details and nuances that would further support the position that a Constitutional challenge is an appropriate action to take at this time,” Broward general counsel Barbara Myrick wrote to the board.

Why hasn’t Duval County decided to push back as well? School Board members Couch and Hershey along with new Superintendent Willis have all been very vocal with how devastating this bill will be, heck even the Times Union in a moment of clarity came out against it.

In fact only school board member who has openly supported the bill is Scott Shine and he did so because he said a benefit would be certain teachers would lose their job. Yes, folks that’s right, he in an op ed in the Beach’s Leader said teachers losing their jobs was a good thing.

However Shine can’t alone be gumming up the works which makes me think it’s possibly the district’s close relationship with Gary Chartrand who undoubtedly supports the bill. Though perhaps it is district counsel Karen Chastain who I personally wouldn’t let fix a parking ticket for me who has shown some reservations as she did when instead of fighting back against the proliferation of charter schools she threw up her hands and said it wasn’t worth doing so, a position other school districts have also disagreed with.

Whatever the reason the board has been hesitant to do something it’s past time they decided to join the good fight. This bill is the worst of the worst and should not go unchallenged by our school board. The fate of the districts, teachers, schools and children are at risk and that is not hyperbole that is the reality of the situation.

Come on school board it’s time for you to do your job and stand up against those who would dismantle our schools.