Perhaps emboldened by the fact he has one foot, both knees and his shoulders out the door, Vitti went off on Tallahassee today.
From the Times Union:
Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, along with several School Board members and Duval Teachers United President Terrie Brady, called a series of last-minute additions made to an education “train” bill late last Friday night a sign of corruption in Tallahassee. The measures, they said, will largely benefit charter schools while harming many poor students and the public schools which serve them.
“This bill is about power and corruption,” Vitti said. “It’s about anti-public accountability and anti-public schools. It will radically and negatively transform funding streams, infrastructure and systems of support for public schools.”
Vitti said House Bill 7069 would force the closure of three Duval County middle schools at first, then 20 more schools later. It also would cut or reduce the district’s ability to pay for various programs to help poor or academically struggling students, such as graduation coaches, mentoring and tutoring, and field trips.
It also would prevent the district from building two new schools in the Oceanway and St. Johns Town Center areas, while the bill would drastically cut money for maintaining school buildings, said Board member Rebecca Couch.
Finally, it would funnel more students and money to charter schools, which will be even less regulated and monitored, thanks to the bill.
For instance, Vitti said, charter schools won’t have to hire licensed teachers.
Legislators, some of whom have family ties to charter schools, have said they want to expand school choice options for parents and make the playing field more fair for charter schools. They point out that the measure targets schools with one F, two D’s, or anything less than a C for three years straight for closure.
Vitti is absolutely right and kudos for him mentioning how bad Tallahassee has become. The problem is their corruption didn’t start last Friday night, it has been going on for years now and I just wonder if instead of kneeling down to the charter industry like he has for years he would have pushed back sooner.