Your public schools have been cut to the bone. Let the cloak of life cling to them. Wake up!
So many voices have been sounding the alarm. Why does Florida sleep? Why does the public who unequivocally say they support public schools continue to allow the politicians to pursue their privatization agenda?
At this moment, the Florida legislature meets in Tallahassee to advance these proposals:
- (1) Expansion of vouchers to private schools, any private school including religious schools, for any family making less than $100,000 a year. These vouchers will not be funded by the work-around group, Step Up for Students, which depends upon corporate donations to fund the existing voucher program. The voucher expansion will be funded directly from tax dollars, particularly, the property tax dollars of each county via the FEFP allocation to school districts.
- “The money should follow the child.” What about the children who will not leave with a new voucher, but never were in the public school system? The significant population who already are enrolled in parochial or other private Christian schools?
- They will qualify to pull a voucher from public education funds. The legislature is not increasing overall funding to match this drain.
- Without losing a single student, Florida’s public schools will experience a significant drain of funding.
- Several counties passed local referendums to raise local taxes to increase funding to their public schools. Predictably, charter schools objected. They demand a disproportionate amount of all public school funding.
- (2) All local tax referendums to fund schools shall be shared with charter schools, even if the referendum specifically directed that the funds be given only to the traditional schools. Unsurprisingly, the legislature is considering overriding the will of the citizens to impose their policy.
- The citizens and taxpayers of local school districts will not be allowed to replace the funding without kicking a share of the money to the profiteering operators of charter schools and they will not have a say in what that share will be.
There are many others that affect public schools and you can read about the most important ones here in an article written by Kathleen Oropeza in The Progressive.
The song is from a Doctor Who episode (Series 7, Second Part, Episode 2) in which the Doctor and his companion, Clara, visit a planetary system and encounter a parasitic monster that feeds on the lives and memories of the people who are there.
They keep the monster quiet by singing it songs and giving periodic sacrifices.
The monster is waking up. It will no longer sleep and it intends to consume all that the people have even if that ends their existence. As the Doctor confronts the monster, the little girl changes the song to wake up. If the monster wakes up, the Doctor can destroy it.
Our public education monster is awake and stalking the halls of Tallahassee. It intends to consume the resources of the public education system even if that means that public schools will no longer exist.
In the process, democracy itself is ending. The will of the people means nothing to the legislators, the elected legislators, who populate the chambers of the capitol building.
They care nothing for your phone calls, your postcards, your letters to the editor published in newspapers around the state. They care nothing for your demonstrations, your testimony in their committees (if you are allowed to speak), your visits to their offices.
Because you keep them in office.
Wake up, Florida! Wake up! YOU are the Doctor. YOU can save public education. Vote them out every chance you get.