What a time we are living through! Each day brings new protests, new reactions, and new thoughts. Today I’ve been reading about the lack of teaching Jacksonville’s history in our schools and that implies a lack of awareness of the corrosion of racism that afflicts our city.
Naturally, I have some thoughts, but before I get to them, I looked back at previous blog posts, both here and my previous blog ‘Stone Eggs.’ I will be rerunning old pieces in which I wrote about racism before offering a new essay.
But first, I came across this from March 2017. It plays into current events in that it is our schools in the poorest neighborhoods that are run down the most and in greatest need of rebuilding or repair.
We will vote on a half-cent sales tax in November. Charters, of course, demanded and will receive their cut, not because they needed it, but because they feel they are entitled.
From the archive:
Junkety schools with Junkety equipment and Junkety furniture for Junkety students.
That’s the executive summary. Read on.
For far too long, I have worked in schools that struggle with limited capital funds to provide halfway decent furniture and equipment for its classrooms.
Maybe it’s the graffiti that’s never cleaned off, maybe it’s the fact that I have to keep a toolkit in my desk to repair student desks and other furniture, maybe it’s the oddly bent legs on tables, maybe it’s the fact that my chair at my desk cannot hold its height and I have to sit at a level equivalent to a full-grown man, which I am, squeezing into a desk made for a kindergarten student.
Maybe it’s the hallway lockers smashed in. Maybe it’s the parent who comes to me as I rent lockers during preschool orientation to say, “My child will not have that filthy graffiti to look at all year long.” Maybe it’s the fact that my floors are never mopped or rewaxed during the year, and by now, no one would contemplate eating off it.
Maybe it’s the screws and other hardware I pick up every year as desks deteriorate under student use.
Maybe it’s stepping around the goose droppings on the sidewalk.
Whatever. The impression is clear: Our schools are junkety. We struggle to maintain them.
And then, we have to take the viewpoint of a child, who doesn’t understand a legislature determined to defund public schools, a lack of resources, a tired staff not paid nearly enough to clean and maintain schools.
Is this the best we can do?
Our schools are junkety. Filled with junkety equipment and junkety furniture, and for a student, it only can be because they are junkety, too. Not worth the expenditure to have a decent place to learn.
According to the Florida legislature, yes. We have too much money for our schools via our local property taxes and they want to take more for the charters.
Memo to Florida legislators: If the last time you stepped into a school was when you were a student, you are not able to cast an informed vote on any education legislation before you.
Junkety schools; junkety students. How dare anyone believe that.