Richard Sutphen-Public Schools

It appears that the powers that be do not want to put the sales tax on the menu for this fall.  They come up with lame excuses that generally contradict their own behavior.  For example, the sales tax for pensions that was not really explained nor examined by the council – it’s a “kick the can” down the road approach that will cost the next generation a ton of money.  Also, the costly demolition of the Landing with no plans in the works to replace it.  We have the mulit-million dollar demolition of the exit ramps for the bridge near the downtown stadium that is being done for the benefit of Zillionaire Kahn who has some ambiguous plans to develop the area. Then there was the unvetted approval of multi-millions for a Ferris wheel project downtown from a company that the TU discovered was a shoddy operation.  These same people want some kind of detailed spending plan for the gigantic repair work on the Duval school buildings much of which has already been provided to the mayor and council.  I understand they did the same thing to the previous Democratic mayor when he submitted plans for development – they wanted a detailed plan and assurances that are never required from the Republican swindlers occupying the government as exemplified in the above examples.

The attack on public schools is a statewide project that is intended to promote charter and private schools at public expense.  We all know this.  These schools do not have to meet the same standards as public schools.  The WSJ article addresses the role of real estate developers in the promotion of charter schools.  Here in Florida, it is common for the developers and charter management companies to be essentially one in the same people who purchase the land and building with their real estate arm and then lease it to themselves as the charter school management company and have the school district pay the rent which pays off their mortgage at taxpayer expense.  This is a wholesale exploitation of taxpayers and public education in the state.

Unfortunately, we have a mayor and city council who have just been elected or re-elected to office, so they have little incentive at this time to answer to what the people want – to have a tax increase to pay for the building repairs.  Curry is already eyeing his next political office conquest and the council hasn’t even been sworn into office yet.  For them, what’s the hurry on the sales tax referendum?  There is a strong racial undertone to their views of public education; it is for black kids.  They have been trying for decades to use public funds to pay for their white private education and have used various devious methods to do so and  they have been largely successful with this in Florida.  Charter schools were sort of the first attempt to break into the treasury funds by promoting them as quasi public schools that fall under board of education administration and sharing of funds, but are private and many are for profit institutions.  Then, they figured out how to direct taxes into funding private schools through mainly designated corporate tax credits that can be diverted from the treasury to pay for private schools (many religious) prior to tax collection.  Thus, the funds never make it into the treasury so technically it doesn’t violate the constitution that bars the use of state funds for private schools.

This is how things are when the Republicans have been in power for the past 20+ years.  We need to find good candidates to run for office and also realize that it may take awhile, perhaps years, to change the dynamic here in Duval and in the state.  Just keep plugging away.

Richard sent the above email

to Susan

when she sent the below email to Indivisble-Mandarin and cc’d Richard.

From: Susan
Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2019
To: Indivisible Mandarin

These council members will still be there July 1st so people can write them now asking them to make this a priority to put the school board’s referendum on a 2019 ballot.

Freeman at large 1
Morgan same 1
Ferraro same 2
Bowman same 3
Wilson same 4
Gaffney same 7
Pittman same 8
Dennis same 9
Becton same 11
White same 12
Hazouri same at large 3
Newby same at large 5

On Fri, Jun 28, 2019 at 2:41 PM Susan  wrote:

I wrote the city council members and the Mayor again.  Below is my email.  I’m still hoping the referendum will get on a ballot in 2019.

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Susan
Date: Fri, Jun 28, 2019 at 2:05 PM
Subject: If we’re not allowed to vote in 2019, what repairs of our neighborhood schools won’t be done next year?
To: Danford, Joyce <>, Ferraro, Albert <>, Bowman, Aaron <>, Wilson, Scott <>, Gaffney, Reginald <>, Pittman, JuCoby <>, Dennis, Garrett <>, Freeman, Terrance <>, Becton, Daniel <>, White, Randy <>, Gulliford, Hazouri, Thomas <>, Newby, Samuel <>, Mayor Lenny Curry <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>

How many on the city council are preventing the voters from voting on the referendum in 2019 because they want our sales tax money to EXPAND the presence of charter schools in our city?  Isn’t that what Mayor Curry said? You can read the full quote at this link.  Isn’t “choice” code for charter schools?  The way I interpreted Mayor Curry’s statement: 

I [Curry] am preventing the voters from voting on the referendum in 2019 because I want the taxpayers’  sales tax money to EXPAND the presence of charter schools in our city.  

Did I get it wrong? Did I misunderstand his statement?  Is that NOT how you interpreted his statement?

I am troubled by the desire of anyone that wants to use my sales tax money to expand charter schools.  Quote from this WSJ article:

 But the growing role of for-profit real-estate developers has added a new dimension to the debate over charters, which are taxpayer funded and independently operated schools that are largely free of union rules. Critics say charter schools are in danger of cutting costly deals with developers who are more concerned with investment return than educating children. The result can lead to failed schools.


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