FL: Burning Down the Schoolhouse
Florida (Motto: If you can't make a buck from it, what's the point?) is taking steps to bring its public school system into the final stages of Death by Charter. It's time to spread some more gasoline and light yet another match.
Because this is a purely political move, it has to have a ridiculously cynical name. So the Florida legislature is working on a bill to move students to "Schools of Hope." Actually, the bill used to call them "Schools of Success," but somebody probably figured that was promising waaaaaay too much, so "Schools of Hope" it is.
The bill, which just passed out of the House Education Committee, commits $200 million to opening charter schools in the same neighborhoods as schools with low grades on Florida's A-F scale.
Here's the idea. Say your school cafeteria is having trouble. Many of the students it serves are malnourished and come to school hungry. The facility is underfunded and in disrepair, and the budget doesn't allow you to get the very best of food (in fact, you have reason to believe that some the funding for your cafeteria that serves mostly black students has been shifted cross town to a mostly-white cafeteria). Students often can't afford to buy full meals in your cafeteria. The state judges your effectiveness on how much the students weigh. You beg for help, but instead the legislature adds an ever-increasing number of hurdles to getting your work done and berates you for thinking that they can just throw money at the problem.
And then, one day, they decide that the solution is to offer a multi-million-dollar grant to any McDonald's that will build a restaurant across the street from the school.
Or maybe you live in a house that's been in your family for decades, and the state comes and sets fire to it, and then refuses to send a fire department. But they do offer multi-million dollar grants to any hotels that want to build a place across the street.
That's the proposal. Let's see if we can put the final touch on killing these public schools and moving all the students into charters.
Of course, the legislators are totally doing it For The Children.
Here's House Speaker Richard Corcoran, one of the leaders of this initiative. "No longer will we rob children of dignity and hope. Now every single child will be afforded an opportunity of a world class education." Because nothing is more dignified and hopeful than being used as a profit-generating pawn.
"We have tried everything else," said Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah. "It is our moral responsibility to make this move and provide an option for our kids." Well, almost everything. Not actually CURMUDGUCATION: FL: Burning Down the Schoolhouse: