First I want to say that the referendum is needed, really needed and even though the district at least for now will have to share with charters based on enrollment it is still incredibly important.
So there are two groups ostensibly working for the referendum.
First there is Duval Citizens for Better Schools, chaired by Warren Jones. Lets call this the good pac.
Then there is Together for all our Students, run by Eric Robertson, a republican operative who has worked for Lenny Curry and Jason Fischer and its primary funder is Gary Chartrand, and lets call this the bad pac.
Jason Fischer and Gary Chartrand fought tooth and nail against the referendum. They said they wanted charter schools to get a cut based on enrollment not based on need, but what they really wanted to do was get paid. You see Chartrand is owed millions by the KIPP school and Fischer is paid, well paid, to do Chartrand’s bidding.
Now with dollar signs in their eyes they are ponying up to make sure the referendum passes and it is sickening.
I hope the referendum passes but lets not fool ourselves or sugar coat things, because the district is now required to share with charters, hundreds of millions of dollars will be diverted from schools and communities that need them to the bank accounts of charter owners and millions of that won’t even stay in Jacksonville.
This gets a little wonky, so I apologize and hope I explain it well enough.
Charter schools will be able to spend the referendum money on lease payments. Not surprisingly 29 out of the city’s 32 charter schools are leased including the KIPP schools which owes Chartrand millions of dollars. Much of that money won’t go to upgrades or filling needs or making improvements. Nope it will go to make charter owners richer and that’s because quite often the charter pays its lease payment to a company which is also owned by the charter operator.
And here you might have thought charter schools were around to educate kids.
Lenny Curry, Jason Fischer, most of the Duval delegation and city council thought this, siphoning money out of neighborhoods and schools so rich people could get richer was a better plan than taking care of our schools, children and neighborhoods.
Okay I promised you some good news.
Here it is. Things don’t have to be this way. We have an election coming up and we can change the rules. We can make things better and all it is going to take is electing people who don’t think what happened was right, people who care more about our children and community than making already rich men richer.
We can elect Ben Marcus and send Jason Fischer home.
We can elect Angie Nixon and show Kimberly Daniels the door.
Then when they get to Tallahassee they can fix the damage that Daniels, and Fischer on the behest of the Curry and Chartrand wrought. They can unrig the game.
You should be really angry. I hope you are but now you should take that anger and channel it into doing something good and that’s changing the system which is set up to benefit the few at the expense of the many
One last thing, if you want to help the referendum please do, just make sure you are giving it to the good guys, not the bad ones.