board Eileen Roy said this week in a letter to the editor about the movement
out of Tallahassee to privatization Florida’s public schools, and make no
mistake that when Tallahassee says school choice what they really mean is privatization.
completely unregulated—no teacher evaluations, no state tests, no proscribed
curriculum, no certified teachers, no mandates—all of which are required of
public schools. Eighty-three percent of these private schools are
religious. Should taxpayer money be used to fund private schools or
religious education? If state testing is so important, why is it only
required in public schools?
the Corporate Tax Voucher funding increases each year by 25%. This is
exponential growth. Initially capped at $50 million statewide, tax
revenue diverted to vouchers has risen year by year to $558 million for school
year 2016-17. By 2019-20 it will be over $1 billion– a billion dollars of
taxpayer money diverted from public to private schools.
were promoted for children in poverty, but the annual income level to
participate has risen to $63,000 for a family of 4—allowing middle class
families to enroll.
to the draining of funding from public schools. Florida has lost $70
million over the last 15 years due to charters closing and taking public
investment in their facilities with them. Seven schools in Alachua County
have closed, costing taxpayers more than $1.2 million. This money, spent for
rent, lease, or mortgage payments, cannot be recouped by the district after
News when asked about some school choice bills quickly moving through the Florida
Legislature. “Would there be a detrimental
effect on our budget? Likely. But I don’t support or oppose legislation only on
fiscal matters,” said Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr.
choice for specific programs. There are two bills in the state House and Senate
that would knock down county zone barriers, making it possible for parents to
place their children in any school that has vacancies. Dr. Vitti supports the
should not be stuck in their neighborhood school. I think when we talk about
certain parents who are stuck, we are usually talking about issues of class and
social-economic status,” said Vitti.
I submit the parents at the 313 failed charter schools wish they would have stuck with their neighborhood schools and in fact most parents would love their neighborhood schools if they were done correctly.
of the Alachua County school board said, no more we must fight for our public
schools and Superintendent Vitti said, I am all for the continued dismantling
little over three years ago, he has embraced the corporate reform movement. He
has partnered with the New Teacher project whose over arching philosophy is you
can fire teachers to improvement. He has expanded Teach for America which takes
non education majors puts them through a
six week boot camp and then in our neediest schools where the vast
majority serve two years assuring constant churn and burn and Charter Schools have
increased over three hundred percent from a little over ten to nearly forty.
schools either as the man responsible for bringing him to town, Gary Chartrand is
also responsible for bringing the KIPP charter school to town, the same school,
we gave 1.5 million dollars through a grant this past fall. Vitti often refers
to it as a model charter school. Well according to the state its grades have
been an F, lowest grade in northeast Florida, a miraculous B, a grade protected
C (should have been a D but schools at te time could only drop one letter
grade), another B and they are projected to make another D this year. This for
a school that requires parents to be involved, has a longer school day and
spends about a third more per child. Chartrand by the way has given thousands
of dollars to most of the school board members too.
all of Vitti’s reforms? Some people say yes and point to our graduation rates
which have gone up but do you know where else graduation rates have gone up?
EVERYWHERE is where.
discipline is worse than ever, and if you want statistics, the state says we
are a C district, we were a B before he arrived and the amount of failing and D
schools have nearly doubled since he got here.
said our public schools are the best thing going in town and data says they
are. Wouldn’t it be nice if Vitti was committed to doing things the right way by
having supported teachers and disciplined schools?
enough was enough.