Superintendent Greene and Board Chair Hershey appeared on the First Coast Connect radio program and I think we should all acknowledge what a tough spot they are in with the mayor, city council and the civic council. They believe have to work with them going forward on the tax referendum and now that the city council, basically run by the civic council, has usurped their authority, undoubtedly other issues going forward.
The thing is we aren’t having a policy debate between the school board and the city council, mayor and civic council. This is not two groups haggling over semantics on the way to a resolution. This is instead is a battle for the future of public education in Jacksonville and right now the people in charge of public ed are losing and losing badly.
Lets look what the other side has done. They changed the meaning of the word shall, gutting the authority that every other school board in the state has. They have engaged in a misinformation campaign, basically lying about costs, meetings and plans. They have ignored their central tenants of creating jobs and raising property values, things that the referendum would undoubtedly do. This means friends they are not above lying, and cheating to win and they could care less about who pays a price and suffers, which in this case is children, let’s not forget that, children.
Why have they done this? Well they want control of our schools so they can ultimately replace them with charters manned by temps and the board and super better acknowledge that soon while there is something left fighting for. Currently we are up to 40 charters and our schools have over a billion in needs.
I get it, the super and board are in a precarious place but there is no legitimate reason to oppose the referendum, yet there the mayor, members of the city council and civic council are doing so.
Greene had a nice comment about competing and how charters have been given all the advantages and public schools all the handicaps. Mrs. Hershey broke things down well too but despite Melissa Ross giving them several opportunities to let people know whats going on, they instead tried to be as diplomatic as possible.
The thing is diplomacy might work if both sides want to solve a problem, but what the board chair and super need to admit to themselves and then scream from the roof tops is the problem the people on the other side are interested in solving is them and they plan to do so by ending them.
But you can judge for yourself. https://news.wjct.org/post/62019-duval-schools-sales-tax-proposal-cracker-gothic-void-vinyl-volume-2