In Florida, education is Political, and Governor DeSantis says so.

You know often when I write about education in Florida I talk about all the destructive things the republicans in Tallahassee have done towards public education and the teaching profession. I mean who else would I talk about because they have been in complete control of public education in Florida for over two decades. What is happening in Florida is not non-partisan and the governor as much as admitted that the other day.
During a press conference where he outlined his legislative policies he doubled down on his proposal to lift starting salaries for new teachers despite the fact most teachers were against a policy that does nothing for veterans, whose salaries have actually gone backwards over the last decade.
When asked about the union’s request that all teachers receive salary increases, the Governor basically said, I am a republican and they are not and I don’t care what they have to say.
“It’s just the fact of the matter. I’m a Republican. They’re not. What I’m doing is never going to be enough. My job is not to do what the union wants – it’s what I think is best for education and particularly for individual teachers,” 
Um, what individual teachers is he talking about? Is it the ones that reflexively vote against their self-interests and reflexively vote republican, there are more than I would like to admit out there. Me, you come with policies, that benefit me and my family, I don’t care what political party you represent, but the fact of it is, democrats are usually strong supporters of public ed and tea hers while republicans are not. People might want to hem and haw and complain about that, but that is just the way it is and again just look at the governor’s words.  
In a way I am glad the governor just gave a middle finger to the teacher’s unions and the teaching profession. Maybe it will wake people up that no help is coming. People have been saying wait till the next election for a decade and yet there are large majorities of republicans, partly due to gerrymandering dominating the house and senate. The last election was 50.1 to 49.1, but the house and senate are over sixty percent republicans.
So friends, there is no help coming, we can’t continue to wait. Tallahassee is unmoved by red t-shirts, bus tours, letters to the editor and decency and that’s why is we want to save public ed and the teaching profession it is up to us and that is going to mean a work stoppage of some kind.    
I think parents would support it, you see when education is alone on the ballot it always wins and poll after poll shows that people understand Tallahassee is not supporting our schools and teachers like they should. I also think school boards and supers who are put upon by Tallahassee as much as teachers are would support it.
You see teachers, school boards, supers and parents understand that education should not be political, it should be about doing the right thing. The problem we have is a political party in Tallassee the republicans aren’t interested in it.   
Friends this is a battle for the future of the teaching profession, the Union may be playing chess, but the governor and the republican party are playing smash the board with a baseball bat while tell your momma so fat jokes. At some point it will be fight or die and sadly it looks like the union is picking the latter.

DeSantis doubles down on his terrible teacher pay proposal. Also tells union he doesn’t care what they think or want

I would say by and large DeSantis’s proposal to raise beginning teacher pay to 47,500 landed with a thud, but instead of listening to and working with teachers, he has doubled down.
From the Florida Phoenix,
Gov. Ron DeSantis said he hopes the 2020 legislative session, which begins in January, will open a “year of the teacher” in Florida, centered on his proposal to raise first-year teacher pay to $47,500 per year.
That would be one of the highest figures in the country for starting pay, national data show.
But DeSantis will be at odds with the Florida Education Association, which is pushing far broader pay reforms for public school teachers and staff.
The governor on Tuesday dismissed the statewide teacher union’s call for across-the-board pay raises – which would go beyond his own call for higher pay for first-year teachers – as politically motivated.
“Let’s not pretend there’s not politics involved with this,” DeSantis said when asked about the union initiative.
“It’s just the fact of the matter. I’m a Republican. They’re not. What I’m doing is never going to be enough. My job is not to do what the union wants – it’s what I think is best for education and particularly for individual teachers,” DeSantis said.
He made the remarks Tuesday during the Associated Press’s annual Legislative Planning Session. The AP invites top state leaders to address reporters about what they hope to accomplish. DeSantis was the first to speak this year, outlining an agenda that includes higher environmental spending, disaster relief, and health care initiatives.
Um, it’s not politically motivated to want all teachers including vet who have seen their salaries go backwards for the last decade, it is decency motivated something the stunt governor is obviously unfamiliar with.
Do what’s best for individual teachers? You mean accept those 75k teachers who wouldn’t see a dime.
The governor’s proposal is a bad joke that shouldn’t see the light of day.
Maybe however this will wake the union up to the fact he doesn’t care what they think or want. Not one bit and the union will now realize it’s fight or die.
I will tell you this. If the union does not fight and a bill goes through giving first year teachers a big raise and vets nothing, I will give myself a raise and quit. The union better wake up.   

Who else has Gary Chartrand bought? Ju’Coby Pittman edition

Who else on the city council doesn’t owe Gary Chartrand? Ju’Coby Pittman edition.
I would like to give Mrs. Pittman some credit. I have seen the financials to the Clara White mission and unlike Rory Diamond and his charity K9 for warriors she isn’t using it as her personal ATM like he is. That being said WTF is nobody on the city council not beholden to Gary Chartrand?  
From News4jax,
 A Jacksonville couple has decided to stand up against across-the-board city budget cuts that left a local rescue mission scrambling to maintain its programs.
Gary and Nancy Chartrand are donating in a big way to the Clara White Mission, pledging $50,000 every year for the next five years.
Now you might be saying, but Chris this happened in 2014 there is no way Chartrand could have been grooming her for her role on the city council so she could oppose the referendum 5 years later, and sure I would concede that.
The thing is, have you ever wondered why Rick Scott a republican governor appointed a democrat to a city council seat when he could have appointed a republican? He has two seats to fill when the Browns were arrested but instead of appointing two republicans he didn’t and Pittman was appointed to fill one of the seats. I mean have you met Mrs. Pittman she doesn’t exactly travel in Curry and Scott’s circles.  
I am sure Rick Scott asked around, and I am equally sure Chartrand recommended her because you know what, like most of the board does, it would be somebody else there that owed him a favor, like say opposing the special tax referendum.
I can imagine the conversation.
Scott calls into the Family’s basement where they are drinking brown liquor, smoking cigars and cutting and eating apple slices.
Scott- You guys have a real mess over there, I am going to have to make two appointments, what two republicans do you have in mind.
Curry- I have some ideas, what about you Gary?
Chartrand- oh I have somebody perfect in mind, but they aren’t a republican.
Scott- um what?
Curry- no way.
Chartrand- here me out, I have somebody that owes me a big favor.
How else to you explain Pittman’s appointment?
Six figures, to Curry, Six figures to Fischer, a Million to Diamond, a quarter million to Pittman, thousands to a dozen others. People should know that a millionaire from Ponte Vedra is running the city and people should know what his agenda is.   

More and more teachers are fighting back, when will Florida? (draft)

While the Chicago teacher strike has grabbed the headlines, another strike gets set to happen.

From Patch,.com

 Dedham’s public school teachers have voted to go on strike, effective immediately. School will be closed Friday following the Dedham Education Association voted 275 to 2 in favor of the strike after negotiations between the union and the school district reached an impasse, union President Timothy Dwyer told the Boston Globe. 

Dwyer said the strike started over disagreements on salary increases, health care coverage and other issues. This will be the first strike in the state in 12 years. 

“The administration needs to sit down and bargain with us,” Dwyer told the Globe. “We remain open to negotiations anytime, any place … They were looking for concessions during good financial times, making us work more with little or no compensation.” 

Dwyer said the association is prepared to strike until it has a fair contract for its teachers. DEA officials told CBS one of the main sticking points of a new contract for teachers is protection from sexual harassment. 

It’s illegal for public school teachers to strike in Massachusetts.

Did you read that last line? It is illegal to strike there just like it was in West Virginia which kicked off the calls to action.

I know people are scared because they don’t think teachers in Florida are allowed to strike. We should challenge that part of the constitution but even if it was upheld think about this, could they fire 80 thousand of us? I don’t think so. 

The FEA doesn’t seem to get it. Tallahassee has no intention of helping the teaching profession or public ed. No friends they plan to destroy them and if you need evidence just look at the last decade. We can wear red for ed everyday and it won’t make a difference because they don’t care.

I was incensed when three weeks ago the FEA said the governors proposal that left out 76k teachers and did nothing for veterans was a good first step. How did they not say it was a non starter and insulting at that.

We aren’t having a policy debate, no we are fighting for the future of public ed and the teaching profession. Well we should be anyways.

Friends what is the FEA going to say when this legislative session is over and Tallahassee has added barely anything to the base pupil allotment, budgeted tens of millions more for charters and vouchers and started another merit pay scam that leaves teachers out? There is always next year? Write some more letters, keep wearing red, we still have the bus? Other cites and states are fighting while we are thanking them for terrible ideas. When will enough be enough?   

The intellectual dishonesty of the city council was stunning

How did some of these people get elected? 
After spending nearly two hours haggling over how much to spend on outside, outside council, because the city council believes their personal 35-member office of general council can’t be trusted to advise them properly on sale of JEA, they went on to discuss Matt Carlucci’s referendum opposing Jason Fischer’s J1 bill that will ask the state legislature to make changes to Jacksonville’s charter, allowing for the city to change from an appointed to elected superintendent. The school board already has the power to do so but has declined coming out forcibly against the J1 bill.
Rory Diamond weighed in first breaking etiquette by trying to withdraw the referendum before there was a vote saying he thought since it didn’t have the force of law it was irrelevant. Imagine that he thought the council’s opinion on a matter that would affect all of Jacksonville is irrelevant. His motion failed so the council now had to go on the record.
There were two reasons council persons gave for not supporting the bill and it’s hard to tell which was more disingenuous. First, LeAnna Cumber and others said that they didn’t know which was better, an elected or appointed super. If you don’t know 98 percent of the country thinks it’s an appointed superintendent, with only two states Florida and Alabama allowing an elected super. It is true in Florida 41 of 67 counties have elected supers but those supers only represent about 15 percent of the state’s children as those districts are small or rural. There is a lot more evidence that says having an appointed super is better too but what’s amazing is Cumber and a few others said they couldn’t be bothered to look it up. That they didn’t care enough to do the research on a subject that will affect the entire city. Let that sink in.  
The second reason for opposing the referendum, was the need to let people vote. Michael Boylan basically said since people wanted to vote on the referendum, then people should have to vote on whether having an elected super of not. He didn’t mention once that as of now people can’t vote on the referendum and the majority of the city council did all they could to obstruct the school board and the sales tax vote. This means he must also believe we now have to vote on whatever proposal a state legislator comes up with no matter how ridiculous, harmful or petty.
Also that’s what the J1 bill is, ridiculous, harmful and petty. Fischer didn’t introduce this version of the J1 bill to help children, it won’t, and that makes it harmful. His first version was for an appointed school board which means he was for appointments and against elections before he was for elections and against appointments which makes it ridiculous and its petty because the intent behind his bill is to replace the superintendent who has arguably taken us higher than all the ones that came before her but who has not bent the knee to the city’s donor class, something they cannot stand.
The resolution ultimately failed 9-9 giving Fischer, Curry and their donors, who want to control the school system’s budget and real estate, a victory. Sadly, it will probably be up to the citizens of Jacksonville to take it away.

City attorney says shall means shall, um what the %$#&

I don’t know if it was ignorance, chutzpah or if the city attorney was just trolling the city, but at the City Council vs School Board hearing to see if the SB can hire their own attorney, the city attorney definitively said Shall means Shall, nothing more nothing less. I couldn’t make this stuff up even if I tried.

Friends, I think we have known for some time the fix was in but here the OGA just seems to be laughing at us. They are so corrupt and brazen they don’t care who sees it.


Jason Fischer sucks

There you go. I worked on that title for five minutes too.
In the piece below from Florida Politics, Fischer lies, attacks others, including republicans, and impugns people who disagree with him patriotism. After reading it, I thought Jason Fischer sucks, was the best and most appropriate title I could come up with.
Anybody else tired of him? Anybody else think he is an embarrassment?
Before you read the piece about the J1 bill and it is a must read, I want to remind everyone he was for an appointed school board, before he was for an elected super which means he was for appointments and against elections before he was for elections and against appointments. Also we know the only reason he is pushing his J1 bill is to satiate the mayor and his donors who are also not coincidently enough, the mayor’s donors.   
From Florida Politics, and my commentary is in bold.
Jacksonville state Rep. Jason Fischer is pushing a local bill that would start a process that could lead to an elected Duval County School Superintendent.
If the local bill passes, Duval voters in November 2020 would be able to vote on whether they want an elected Superintendent, setting up a potential 2022 election to select a replacement for a position appointed for decades.
The bill has proven controversial, ahead of a Duval County Legislative Delegation vote on whether to advance the local bill Nov. 1.
The Jacksonville City Council has delayed weighing in on the measure thus far.
Fischer on Oct. 8 asked for a deferral of the bill, with Council member Matt Carlucci (who opposes Fischer’s proposal) saying Fischer wanted to make the case for the local bill to the City Council in two weeks. However, he announced last week that he would not be at the City Council on the 22nd, as that date falls on a Tallahassee committee week. The Council will consider a resolution to oppose any changes to the School Board structure, and Fischer won’t be there. You know because Fischer A, doesn’t know how to work a calendar, B, he doesn’t care what the city council has to say because he feels like the fix is in with the republican dominated Duval delegation, C, both A and B.
This nettled Carlucci, per an email: “I deferred my bill of opposition out of courtesy upon Rep. Fishers last minute request just before our last city council meeting (where school board members and members of the public took time to attend) because he said he would drive back from Tallahassee to address the Jacksonville City Council at our next meeting. Just thought you all should know he will now be unable to attend that said meeting.”
“It’s hard to play ball under such a set of rules,” Carlucci added.
Fischer said he had no intention of getting back to the City Council in person, with the committee work at the Capitol being priority. He has, however, lobbied many members with personal phone calls, even as he stresses that he’s not involved in “advocacy” for the bill. He’s definitely not, no town halls, no community meetings not even a tweet or facebook post. You would think if he thought it was important he would give it a little boost but he hasn’t and it’s my bet it is because he thinks the fix is already in.
“I hope they embrace letting the voters in their district vote,” Fischer said. This vote, not the one for the referendum, let’s be clear, he is for people voting on things he likes but against people voting for things he doesn’t. Also before you call me a hypocrite at least pretend you know the origins of Fischer’s proposal. If you do, then like many of us you should be outraged. This J1 bill isn’t meant to improve education or even voter/super relationships, it’s meant to punish a political foe and to seize control of the districts resources and assets.   
In a conversation late last week in his office in Tallahassee, Fischer discussed the twists and turns in the local bill process, insisting that the State Legislature alone has the power to make law on this one.
And in that context, a City Council resolution to support or oppose his proposal makes no difference.
“They have no force of law. They’re a statement by them,” Fischer said. “Their opinions are interesting.”
But all governments are subsidiary to the state government, Fischer said. He just said the state government can do whatever they want and localities just have to take it. What do you think about that?
“When I filed the bill, the charter and delegation rules suggest we send it to the City Council or the affected agency, and I did that,” Fischer said.
The School Board, the “affected agency” in question, opposed Fischer’s proposal.
Carlucci, as Fischer insisted on many occasions, has no standing. The school board has standing and you ignored them?
“He found a way to gain a bunch of headlines by inserting himself into processes that he wasn’t welcome to, and this is one of those,” Fischer said. “Nobody asked for his opinion.” Nobody asked for Carlucci’s opinion? Nobody cares what elected politicians think about things that will affect their city? People care, and if Fischer cared about people he would know that.
“I’m not sure if he’s opposing democracy,” Fischer said, saying it’s “hypocritical” to call for votes on JEA or the sales tax referendum, but not on the elected Superintendent question. So he thinks people who are calling for a vote for the referendum but are against the vote for electing a super our hypocrites?  The stupidity here burns. He is against the vote on the referendum!!! He doesn’t want people to vote on it. Also democracy does not mean you have to vote on every fever dream a corrupt and unethical politician comes up with.   
Fischer noted the School Board’s opposition doesn’t matter, given voters are “wildly supportive of elected positions, like an elected Superintendent.” A straight up lie, Fischer is a straight up liar. Matt Schellenberg, no friend of public ed all but called him that at a meeting of the charter review commission. Who is for it? His donors, that’s all. Also are these the same people he said were wildly for an appointed school board?
Fischer noted that he was willing to testify to the Rules Committee, but that opportunity wasn’t extended to him. Did he ask? Carlucci has been very deferential to him? If he would have shown up do you think the committee would have ignored him? What about making a public comment you know like all citizens can do?  I have a feeling this may technically be true what he said, but it’s a kernel of truth among a cob of lies.
The concept has been discussed generally with Speaker Jose Oliva, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, and Gov. Ron DeSantis, as part of an ongoing conversation about education reform. An ongoing discussion? Is that to force every district to have an elected super? What other discussion could there be?
Ultimately, Fischer stresses that the lawmaking process for this one will in in Tallahassee. The lawmaking process that effects Jacksonville will be in Tallahassee? He just snubbed his nose at home rule which I thought was a tenant of the republican party? This friends is just more proof he only cares about advancing his personal interests and he thinks he has a better chance to do so with his rich donors than with the people of Jax.
“You can kind of chirp on the sidelines,” he said, “or get in the game over here.” This is what he thinks of Carlucci a veteran local politician who may be the most popular man in the city. He doesn’t say I disagree with Carlucci, instead he treats him with disdain.
so to sum up, Fischer sucks, and more and more people need to realize it.

The FLFOE’s budget request, more proof the governor and commissioner used teachers as props

So the FLDOE, a department run by Richard Corcoran the man who traveled the state last week with Governor DeSantis, gave their budget proposal to the senate education committee today and guess what wasn’t in it? Sadly you probably don’t have to but if you did and guessed no raises for teachers, you win, sorry you lose again.

You know Corcoran runs the FLDOE right? I know I can’t believe it either and I agree he has no business doing so, but because elections have consequences, dreadful, dreadful consequences, and he is. You would think any raises for teachers would be in their proposal but nope.

The worst and dumbest, sorry best and brightest bonus program that leaves out about half of the states teachers is still there, but nothing close to a raise.

Friends, DeSantis used teachers as a prop to boost his poll numbers and Corcoran was standing next to him at every stop, that’s shameful.

The state’s teachers, heck the state, deserves better.

To read more, click the link:

Friends there isn’t any money for teacher raises, DeSantis uses teachers to prop up his approval ratings.

Last week with a lot of fanfare and few details DeSantis announced a proposal to raise starting teacher salaries to 47,500, going from 2nd to 26th in the nation.

His proposal did nothing for veteran teachers and I seriously doubt it would make much of a difference for recruitment and retention too, but all of that is moot because there isn’t any money to pay for it an none seems coming.

First the state board of education in August proposed a fifty dollar increase in the per pupil allotment, where districts get money to pay their teachers, since when you factor in inflation that is actually a decrease the money isn’t coming from there.

Then when DeSantis made the proposal expected to cost 600 million or about 2.4 billion less than would get us to 2007 levels, the speaker of the house Jose Olivia basically threw a wet blanket on the proposal saying, the House would consider it, so it doesn’t seem like the money is coming from there either.

And that brings us to today.

Where the FLDOE doesn’t seem to have any idea where the money if coming either.

  The Governor straight up used to teachers as a prop to pump up his poll numbers when he did his education tour last month. The state board, the house and the FLDOE have no idea where the money for any teacher raise let alone the one he proposed is coming from and if they don’t have an idea then who does. People shouldn’t think for a second that DeSantis is any different than the other politicians in Tallahassee who pay lip service to education while trying to undermine it.

For shame governor DeSantis, for shame.

Jason Fischer gives the city the middle finger… again.

Jason Fischer is an embarrassment to the city there is no getting around it.

In a craven attempt to curry (see what I did there) favor with the mayor and his donors, Fischer has proposed two versions of a J1 bill which asks the state legislature to change Duval’s charter, first making the school board appointed and then later the superintendent elected. This means he was for appointments and against elections before he was against appointments and for elections. Fischer after asking the city council for the opportunity to speak about his proposal, now says he can’t be bothered. 

Apparently Fischer doesn’t know what calendars are. Did I mention Fischer was an embarrassment?

Jacksonville deserves better than this guy because it certainly couldn’t do worse.