Why don’t the state legislators give local school districts more flexibility rather than outsourcing education to charter schools?

The facts as stated in various articles seem conflicting. BUT let’s suppose they have good ideas to make the neighborhood school better for the neighborhood kids. Why wasn’t the principal allowed more flexibility to do those things as a neighborhood school?

“297 parents voted for the charter, with 51 voting against the measure. A charter would allow us to venture outside the box to give our Hispanic population different resources,” he said. “We have a large Latino population. We need to do things to ensure they are able to acquire the language at a more different pace. We need the autonomy to do things differently.” “It is impossible to expect these students to take a Florida Standards Assessment in English,” she said. By contrast, if the school transitions to a charter, it would give Kaiser the freedom to choose the best learning methods to help her students succeed, she said. Hundley said there would be several changes to the curriculum if the conversion takes place: The school would change the way it teaches history, to better appeal to the students’ heritage; it would extend instructional days by one hour; the school would provide dual-language electives; students would be able to take classes in English and Spanish simultaneously. That’s excerpts from this link:

  • How easy is it for a school district to deny a charter school application?
  • Why would parents vote to convert a neighborhood school to a charter school rather than lobby their elected school board to make changes to the neighborhood school?

Once the neighborhood school was converted to a charter school the kids were rezoned to other neighborhood schools. The kids had the same “choices” that they had previous to the conversion except there was a new charter school choice closer to their home and they’d get automatic admission at the newly assigned neighborhood school. 297 parents voted for the neighborhood school to convert to a charter school and 51 parents voted against the measure.

The Superintendent at the time, Diana Greene, told the board the charter school application met the minimal standards so if the board denied the application, then the state officials would probably override the board and side with the charter. Board member Scott Hopes sharply questioned the school’s finances, curriculum and leadership. The way the state handles conversions is the district retains a small portion of charter school’s per-pupil funding, maintains ownership of the building and is responsible for the maintenance, while the charter school is responsible for day-to-day operating costs. Board member Hopes said that is a raw deal for the district.
Quote from the article (link in button above):

Board member Scott Hopes and board vice chairman John Colon began gathering support for legislation they say would limit charter school leaders’ salaries, make charter leaders disclose their finances and require conversion charters like Lincoln to pay to use district-owned facilities. “There needs to be a level playing field,” Hopes said. “If the school district has to provide a building and maintenance, you should not be collecting the same per-pupil payment as if you were responsible for maintaining that building.”

The new charter school had financial problems as explained in this article:

In a 95-page ruling, an administrative law judge Friday backed a decision by the Manatee County School Board to terminate a contract with the charter school that he said showed “gross financial mismanagement,” including failing to pay salaries and payroll taxes, getting cut off by food suppliers and facing a shutoff of water service. Among other things, Cohen wrote that the school had more than $1.5 million in outstanding financial liabilities as of Aug. 23, including nearly $374,000 owed to the Internal Revenue Service and almost $82,000 owed to the Florida Retirement System. Also, it owed $259,000 in unpaid salaries and $76,000 to Humana for employee health-insurance coverage.


I said in the first line of this blog post that the facts seem inconsistent across the different articles. This January 2021 lawsuit says

The “public interest” component in this case consists of the Defendants [the school board, etc] having deprived the Plaintiffs Lincoln Memorial Academy and Eddie Hundley [the charter school operators] of their contractual right to operate a majority-African-American run private charter school that is specifically designed to improve the provision of public school education to underprivileged, inner-city African American youth,


Critical Race Theory

IMHO Corcoran and Rufos are being deceitful by redefining CRT rather than inventing a new term for what they mean. Excerpt from the Learning for Justice (Teaching Tolerance) article:

“These new bills banning CRT don’t have all that much to do with actual critical race theory.”


Terms (that have existed for decades) should not be redefined as was done in this Florida state Board of Education regulation that was promoted by Governor DeSantis and Education Commissioner Corcoran:

Excerpt from regulation: “Critical Race Theory, meaning the theory that racism is not merely the product of prejudice, but that racism is embedded in American society and its legal systems in order to uphold the supremacy of white persons.”


Link to how the regulation 6A-1094124 has changed over the last few years:


Corcoran says beginning around minute 37 in the video (See link below):
So we rewrote all of our standards, … so now the books have come back … but I didn’t think to say “okay and keep all of the crazy liberal stuff out” and … they hide it in “social emotional learning” so it doesn’t SAY “Critical Race Theory” … now we have to go back and say, if it’s electronic, we want it out and, on top of that, we’re passing a rule this coming month that says, for the 185,000 teachers, you can’t indoctrinate students with stuff that’s not based on our standards, the new B.E.S.T. standards. But you have to police it on a daily basis … I’ve censored or fired or terminated numerous teachers for doing that. I’m getting sued right now in Duval County … because it was an entire classroom memorialized to Black Lives Matter… we made sure she was terminated

Corcoran says beginning around minute 29 in the video (see link below):
If we can get Education right, we can have kids be literate and then understand what it means to be a self-governing citizen in a self-governing country, we’ll win it back. … Education is our sword, you know …

Link to video of Education Commissioner Corcoran

What does Hillsdale College and Education Commissioner Corcoran mean by Critical Race Theory?

I don’t know how but I have been placed on a mailing list to get propaganda from Hillsdale College. The most recent one had the headline: “Critical Race Theory: What It Is and How to Fight it.” I’m saving the flyer in case anyone wants to see it.

As a rebuttal to the Hillsdale College propaganda flyer, I offer excerpts from a couple of articles :

Crenshaw notes that CRT is not a noun, but a verb. It cannot be confined to a static and narrow definition but is considered to be an evolving and malleable practice. It critiques how the social construction of race and institutionalized racism perpetuate a racial caste system that relegates people of color to the bottom tiers. CRT also recognizes that race intersects with other identities, including sexuality, gender identity, and others. CRT recognizes that racism is not a bygone relic of the past. Instead, it acknowledges that the legacy of slavery, segregation, and the imposition of second-class citizenship on Black Americans and other people of color continue to permeate the social fabric of this nation. 

Mari Matsudi described CRT as the work of progressive legal scholars seeking to address the role of racism in the law. CRT grew from Critical Legal Studies (CLS), which argued that the law was not objective or apolitical. CLS was a significant departure from earlier conceptions of the law (and other fields of scholarship) as objective, neutral, principled, and dissociated from social or political considerations. Like proponents of CLS, critical race theorists recognized that the law could be complicit in maintaining an unjust social order. 

CRT calls for considering unintended consequences of proposed remedies, addressing intersecting policies and structures, and acting intentionally to ensure that harm is not further replicated by the legal system.

Like any other approach, CRT can be misunderstood and misapplied. It has been distorted and attacked. And it continues to change and evolve. The hope in CRT is in its recognition that the same policies, structures, and scholarship that can function to disenfranchise and oppress so many also holds the potential to emancipate and empower many. It provides a lens through which the civil rights lawyer can imagine a more just nation.

Critics of these efforts warn that the bills [that seek to ban Critical Race Theory from being taught in schools] would effectively prevent public schools and universities from holding discussions about racism; the New Hampshire measure in particular would ban companies that do business with government entities from conducting diversity, equity, and inclusion programs…The larger purpose, it seems, is to rally the Republican base—to push back against the recent reexaminations of the role that slavery and segregation have played in American history and the attempts to redress those historical offenses. The shorthand for the Republicans’ bogeyman is an idea that has until now mostly lived in academia: critical race theory....The theory’s proponents argue that the nation’s sordid history of slavery, segregation, and discrimination is embedded in our laws, and continues to play a central role in preventing Black Americans and other marginalized groups from living lives untouched by racism. …Conservatives are not the only critics of diversity training. For years, some progressives, including critical race theorists, have questioned its value: Is it performative? Is it the most effective way to move toward equity or is it simply an effective way of restating the obvious and stalling meaningful action? But that is not the fight that has materialized over the past nine months. Instead, it is a confrontation with a cartoonish version of critical race theory.

MONICA BELL: I think both are true. Across the spectrum, saying that America is racist is read by people saying that Americans are racist. We don’t have a good way in our society of thinking about the difference between structural and systemic racism and individual racism. This is the big problem.

Vice President Kamala Harris said America is not a “racist country” but the nation must “speak the truth” about its history with racism on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” on Thursday. “One of the greatest threats to our national security is domestic terrorism manifested by white supremacists,” Harris said, referencing reports from federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies identifying white supremacists as a persistent and rising terror threat. “And so these are issues that we must confront, and it does not help to heal our country, to unify us as a people, to ignore the realities of that,” the vice president said. “The idea is that we want to unify the country but not without speaking truth and requiring accountability where it is appropriate,” she urged.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he is adamant that Critical Race Theory not be taught in public schools. [Why? Is it just whistle blowing to a racist base?]?


Excerpts from the Hillsdale College’s propaganda pamphlet about Critical Race Theory which seems a very bizarre explanation of CRT based on the other articles I have read:

Marx believed that the primary characteristic of industrial societies was the imbalance of power between capitalists and workers. The solution to that imbalance, according to Marx, was revolution: the workers would eventually gain consciousness of their plight, seize the means of production, overthrow the capitalist class, and …. Abandoning Marx’s economic dialectic of capitalists and workers, the Marxist intellectuals in the West substituted race for class and sought to create a revolutionary coalition of the dispossessed based on racial and ethic categories. … The radical Left has proved resilient and enduring–which is where critical race theory comes in.


Jacksonville charter schools got these capital outlay funds

The above data is from this link:

Some of the schools didn’t get funds some years (unless I made a mistake–you can double check at the link provided) so I must assume they didn’t meet one of these criteria:

Have an annual audit that does not reveal any of the financial emergency conditions provided in s. 218.503(1) for the most recent fiscal year for which such audit results are available.

Have satisfactory student achievement based on state accountability standards applicable to the charter school.

Have been accredited by a regional accrediting association as defined by State Board of Education rule;


HB 611 and SB 146 in 2021-civics education

Here’s what HB 611 would add to Florida statute 1003.44 if it passes:
(5)(a) The commissioner shall develop minimum criteria for
19 a civic literacy practicum that helps students evaluate the
20 roles, rights, and responsibilities of United States citizens
21 and identify effective methods of active participation in
22 society, government, and the political system. The practicum may
23 be incorporated into a school’s curriculum for the high school
24 United States Government course under s. 1003.4282(3)(d)
25 beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.
(b) The purpose of the practicum is to inspire meaningful
27 civic engagement and help students learn how governmental
28 entities at the local, state, or federal level interact with the
29 public which they represent and serve. The practicum must
30 provide students with an opportunity to be civically engaged
31 through any of the following activities:
32 1. Participation in an unpaid internship at a governmental
33 entity.
34 2. A series of simulations or observations of one or more
35 governmental entities performing their core functions in
36 relation to the public. Such functions may include
37 administrative, legislative, or judicial functions and other
38 official business conducted by a governmental entity.
39 3. Learning about the United States citizenship
40 naturalization process and attending a United States citizenship
41 naturalization oath ceremony.
42 (c) The practicum must require a student to complete a
43 research paper that must include all of the following:
44 1. Reflection on the student’s experience participating in
45 the civic engagement activity.
46 2. Explanation of the significance of the governmental
47 entity’s role in the student’s community, the state, or the
48 nation.
49 3. Explanation of how the governmental entity is
50 responsive to the public.
51 (d) The hours outside of classroom instruction that a
52 student devotes to an unpaid civic engagement activity under
53 paragraph (b) may count toward the community service
54 requirements for participation in the Florida Bright Futures
55 Scholarship Program. School districts are encouraged to include
56 and accept civic literacy practicum activities and hours toward
57 requirements for academic awards, especially those awards that
58 include community service as a criterion or selection factor.

This is what SB 146 will add to 1003.44:
(5)(a) In order to help students evaluate the roles,  rights, and responsibilities of United States citizens and determine methods of active participation in society, government, and the political system, the commissioner shall develop minimum criteria for a nonpartisan civic literacy
practicum that may be incorporated into a school’s curriculum for the high school United States Government course required by s. 1003.4282(3)(d), beginning with the 2022-2023 school year.
[line 33]  The commissioner also shall develop a process by which a district school board can verify that a student successfully completed a practicum meeting those criteria.
   1. The criteria must require a student to do all of the following:
   a. Identify a civic issue that impacts his or her
   b. Rigorously research the issue from multiple perspectives and develop a plan for his or her personal involvement in addressing the issue.
   c. Create a portfolio to evaluate and reflect upon his or her experience and the outcomes or likely outcomes of his or her involvement. A portfolio must, at minimum, include research,  evidence, and a written plan of involvement.
 2. A civic literacy practicum must be nonpartisan, focus on addressing at least one community issue, and promote a student’s ability to consider differing points of view and engage in civil discourse with individuals who hold an opposing opinion.
(b) The hours outside of classroom instruction which a student devotes to the nonpartisan civic literacy practicum to implement his or her plan of involvement may be counted toward meeting the community service requirements of the Florida Bright
Futures Scholarship Program. School districts must include and accept nonpartisan civic literacy practicum activities and hours in requirements for academic awards, especially those awards that include community service as a criterion or selection factor.
(c) The State Board of Education shall annually designate each public school in this state which provides students with high-quality civic learning, including civic-engagement skills, as a Freedom School. The state board shall establish the criteria for a school’s designation as a Freedom School. The
criteria must include all of the following:
1. The extent to which strategies to develop high-quality civic learning, including civic-engagement skills, are integrated into the classroom using best instructional practices.
2. The scope of integration of high-quality civic learning, including civic-engagement skills, across the school’s curricula.
3. The extent to which the school supports interdisciplinary, teacher-led professional learning communities to support continuous improvement in instruction and student achievement.
4. The minimum percentage of students graduating with a standard high school diploma who must successfully complete a civic literacy practicum and earn community service hours as provided in this subsection.

Note that HB 611 says nothing about nonpartisan whereas its companion bill SB 146 does mention nonpartisan.

2021 new civics education bills

As of February 19, 2021 there are two pairs of bills to change the required civics education course.
One pair which I’m discussing below:
HB 5 https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=72012&SessionId=90
SB 1450 https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/1450

This is the other pair:
SB 146 https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/146
HB 611 https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=70926&SessionId=90

It was reported in this article that Ivanka Trump called the people who stormed the Capitol by the term “patriot”

HB 5 and SB 1450 are identical, i.e. they are companion bills for the House and the Senate.

This is what will be added to the Florida Statute 1003.4282 by HB 5:
which must include a comparative discussion of political ideologies, such as communism and totalitarianism, that conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States. 
  This is what will be added to Florida Statute 1003.44--Patriotic programs—by HB 5:
   34         (6) To help families, civic institutions, local
   35  communities, district school boards, and charter schools prepare
   36  students to be civically responsible and knowledgeable adults,
   37  the Department of Education shall:
   38         (a) Develop or approve an integrated civic education
   39  curriculum that school districts and charter schools must
   40  incorporate as part of regular school work in kindergarten
   41  through grade 12. The civic education curriculum must assist
   42  students in developing:
   43         1. An understanding of their shared rights and
   44  responsibilities as residents of the state and of the founding
   45  principles of the United States as described in s.
   46  1003.42(2)(a)-(c).
   47         2. A sense of civic pride and desire to participate
   48  regularly with government at the local, state, and federal
   49  levels.
   50         3. An understanding of the process for effectively
   51  advocating before government bodies and officials.
   52         4. An understanding of the civic-minded expectations,
   53  developed by the State Board of Education, of an upright and
   54  desirable citizenry that recognizes and accepts responsibility
   55  for preserving and defending the blessings of liberty inherited
   56  from prior generations and secured by the United States
   57  Constitution.
   58         (b) Curate oral history resources to be used along with the
   59  civic education curriculum which provide portraits in patriotism
   60  based on the personal stories of diverse individuals who
   61  demonstrate civic-minded qualities, including first-person
   62  accounts of victims of other nations’ governing philosophies who
   63  can compare those philosophies with those of the United States.
   64  This paragraph may be cited as the “Portraits in Patriotism
   65  Act.”
   66         (c) Approve integrated civic education curricula submitted
   67  by school districts and charter schools that meet the
   68  requirements of this subsection.

I sent this to the bill sponsors of HB 5/SB 1450

Please amend your bill so that 1003.44 applies to all publicly funded schools including schools receiving vouchers authorized by SB 48.

Please amend your bill to make it clear that  the courses mentioned in 1003.4282 are required of all students wishing to receive a high school diploma in Florida. There should be no exceptions for any of the certificates that call themselves high school diplomas: http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/18617/urlt/1819-114025.pdf

I applaud you for including charter schools in your requirements that amend 1003.44 but why didn’t you include all publicly funded schools?  Since the majority of the current state legislators seem determined (via SB 48)  to give more and more of our taxpayer dollars to private schools and homeschooling parents, you need to consider why you’re mandating something for some publicly funded schools but not for others. What schools did the people that stormed the Capitol go to? What school did Ivanka Trump go to? It was reported that Ivanka Trump tweeted a message calling the people who stormed the Capitol by the term “patriot” and we heard the domestic terrorists inside the Capitol calling themselves patriots in the videos that have been released to the public. Why did they think storming the Capitol was a patriotic thing to do? Your bill should be required of all publicly funded schools.   The term patriot is discussed in this article:

Is your bill an attempt to make it clear that the people who stormed the Capitol are not patriots, i.e. they are domestic terrorists?

Are ALL students who want a standard high school diploma required to take the courses listed at  f.s. 1003.4282?  Are students who receive taxpayer funded vouchers required to satisfy the requirements of 1003.4282? Link to Florida statute that includes 1003.4282 : http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=1000-1099/1003/1003.html
Here’s how 1003.4282 begins:
(1) TWENTY-FOUR CREDITS REQUIRED.—(a) Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2013-2014 school year, receipt of a standard high school diploma requires successful completion of 24 credits, an International Baccalaureate curriculum, or an Advanced International Certificate of Education curriculum.
[and then later it says}
The Department of Education shall directly and through the school districts notify registered private schools of public high school course credit and assessment requirements. Each private school must make this information available to students and their parents so they are aware of public high school graduation requirements.

SB 48 (2021)

Please take a look starting at line 3953 of SB 48. When people go to buy a car, they will be asked if they want to divert their sales tax dollars to “K-12 Education Funding.”
What will they think their money is going to? Will they realize they are diverting their sales tax dollars to fund unaccountable private school vouchers and to fund the unregulated efforts of home school parents?

Link to SB 48: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/48

That’s not the only problem with SB 48 but it makes it obvious that the bill sponsor is trying to deceive the public.

This is our tax money! We want our tax money to go to HIGH QUALITY schools. Certainly a parent can choose to send their child to a subpar school but the taxpayer shouldn’t be forced to pay for it.

I am worried that this bill will take even more money from the already diminishing budget of the district run schools.

Our district-run schools need funds for wrap around services, libraries, art classes, music classes, team sports, civic classes, and high quality science classes. Of course until the pandemic is over, the district run schools are being forced to do virtual and brick and mortar.

Quote from a blog hosted by Step Up for Students:
Step Up for Students, which hosts this blog, uses 11 lobbyists, according to state records. “Everybody is trying to get a piece of the pie” …The new school voucher plan could be a test case for the new-look Florida Supreme Court. The plan draws from general revenue funds instead of tax credits. When a similar idea was enacted in 2006, the state Supreme Court struck it down as unconstitutional [because it gave money to religious organizations in violation of the state constitution that says adherents and philanthropists should fund religious institutions of their choice not taxpayers being forced to fund other people’s religious institutions]. But three of the justices who supported that decision are no longer on the court, having been replaced by justices who have previously supported voucher programs. Step Up For Students, which hosts this blog, helps administer the tax credit and other state scholarship programs. Link to the blog: https://www.redefinedonline.org/2019/03/florida-schools-roundup-education-lobby-vouchers-and-the-top-court-and-more

Another article about SB 48: https://lwveducation.com/category/florida/

Florida voters said NO to Amendment 8 in 2012 but then they keep electing representatives who pass bills in violation of our Florida Constitution. Hopefully SB 48 won’t pass. Info about the 2012 amendment 8 in case you don’t remember:

Questions for the Sales tax Citizen Oversight Committee

Does the school board get the surtax money every month from the state?
How often are they required to give the charter schools their portion?
Can they withhold the charter school portion if the charter school hasn’t submitted the requested information to the Citizen Oversight Committee?

Can the Citizen Oversight Committee require:
1. All financial documents, bond requests, loan requests that were made in anticipation of the sales tax revenue
2. The detail of the owners of the charter school drilled down to the names of the people
3. The detail of the owners of the building (drilled down to the names of the people) that the charter school is leasing with our sales tax money
4. The competitive bids and if the project was awarded to a related party
5. Will this information be on a website for the public to see?

Link to Florida statute 212.055 :

Excerpts from 212.055 (6):
[this statement was required by HB 7097 passed in early 2020]: The resolution must include a statement that the revenues collected must be shared with eligible charter schools based on their proportionate share of the total school district enrollment. …  Surtax revenues shared with charter schools shall be expended by the charter school in a manner consistent with the allowable uses set forth in s. 1013.62(4). All revenues and expenditures shall be accounted for in a charter school’s monthly or quarterly financial statement pursuant to s. 1002.33(9). The eligibility of a charter school to receive funds under this subsection shall be determined in accordance with s. 1013.62(1). If a school’s charter is not renewed or is terminated and the school is dissolved under the provisions of law under which the school was organized, any unencumbered funds received under this subsection shall revert to the sponsor.(d) Surtax revenues collected by the Department of Revenue pursuant to this subsection shall be distributed to the school board imposing the surtax in accordance with law. [But how often? Every month?]

What is this saying? Here’s my guess:

Charter schools will get at least the amount of capital outlay funds per student that was distributed in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
No such guarantee is given to the district owned school buildings.

Excerpt from 1013.62

Beginning in fiscal year 2021-2022, charter school capital outlay funding shall consist of state funds when such funds are appropriated in the General Appropriations Act and revenue resulting from the discretionary millage authorized in s. 1011.71(2) if the amount of state funds appropriated for charter school capital outlay in any fiscal year is less than the average charter school capital outlay funds per unweighted full-time equivalent student for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, multiplied by the estimated number of charter school students for the applicable fiscal year, and adjusted by changes in the Consumer Price Index issued by the United States Department of Labor from the previous fiscal year. Nothing in this subsection prohibits a school district from distributing to charter schools funds resulting from the discretionary millage authorized in s. 1011.71(2).

New charter school being built across the street from an A rated neighborhood elementary school

1. Will River City Education Services, Inc be using our sales tax dollars to repay the loans that are funding the two new charter schools? They have two new charter schools approved by the school board:



2. Is it true that according to Florida statute 1002.33, the school board could not have denied these charter school applications? If the school board had wanted to deny the application but failed to win on appeal, then the school board would have been subject to this part of the statute:

The administrative law judge shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred during the mediation process, administrative proceeding, and any appeals, to be paid by the party whom the administrative law judge rules against.

School board member answered: Yes, this is accurate

3. Are you worried that real estate investors are getting rich off the taxpayers? 

School board member answered: Yes 

4. Will these charter schools still be here after the half cent sales tax ends? 

School board member answered: We would not be able to predict this 

5. Or will they close and we’ll essentially lose our tax dollars? HB 7069 forced local school boards to share our property taxes with charter schools. Then in 2020, HB 7097 is forcing us to share our sales tax dollars with charter schools. Quote from this article:

The report also notes that nearly 400 charters in Florida have closed over the last couple of decades. What research went into this report, and why, in Integrity Florida’s view, have charters not succeeded in their mission?  

6. What can you do to mitigate the damage caused by charter schools closing? 

School board member answers: This will fall to the families that make choices about which schools to attend. 

7. Now that our sales tax money is going to the charter school industry, I fear charter schools are going to start popping up all over town.  What will that do to our excellent neighborhood schools that are loved by the parents. I guess if the parents don’t like their neighborhood school, then perhaps they’ll be happy for another option. But it’s going to be a sad day if millions of our sales tax dollars go to build new charter schools that subsequently close and there are no clawback provisions in place to recoup our sales tax dollars even if the charter school building is sold for millions to a private school or other private investor. 

School board member answered: This would be very sad and frustrating indeed. 

I sent the below email to my city council member but I have not received a response:

Honorable City Council Member Boylan,
I was told that even though the charter school didn’t have to apply for a zoning change, they did have to apply for a building permit. Approval should have been denied due to traffic congestion.  How do I find out who approved the building permit? 
Link to article about it: https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2020/11/10/a-charter-school-is-being-built-across-the-street-from-a-public-school-some-arent-happy-about-it/
It doesn’t seem we can blame the school board for this. They have the least control over the funding and placement of charter schools. The majority on the city council by delaying the vote on the referendum and the majority state legislators for explicitly taking away the school board’s power to deny the application are to blame if you see a problem with a charter school building right across the street from an A rated neighborhood school. 
But if traffic is also an issue, then we can blame the person that approved the building permit?
Can we stop this charter school from building right across the street from an A rated public school on a two lane road where traffic is already an issue? If yes, how? And if it’s too late to stop this, how can we stop it from happening all over town now that the state legislators have forced us to give our sales tax dollars to charter schools?


  1. Response from Dr. Greene forwarded to me from a friend:

The Oversight Committee is an independent body from the school district, and they have the autonomy to establish reporting requirements for public and charter schools. As a meeting of a governmental advisory body, there will be an opportunity for public comment, and I hope you will share your concerns there as well.

2. The latest RIVER CITY EDUCATION SERVICES, INC.  form 990 can be found at this link:


Excerpt from the Form 990:

Form 990, Part IX, Line 24e   INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF TRAINING  92,127

Form 990, Part IX, Line 24e   BOARD OF EDUCATION                     303,064

Form 990, Part IX, Line 24e   SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION           1,554,429

Form 990, Part IX, Line 24e   FACILITIES ACQ & RENT                1,158,065

Form 990, Part IX, Line 24e   FISCAL SERVICES                               339,272

Form 990, Part IX, Line 24e   OPERATION OF PLANT                      832,877

Form 990, Part IX, Line 24e   MAINTENANCE OF PLANT               154,098

Form 990, Part IX, Line 24e   COMMUNITY SERVICE                     327,143

Etc to a total of  $6,232,860 on line 24 e

3. Excerpts from an opinion piece from a couple of years ago:

Thanks to HB 7069 and other laws, the most profitable enterprise in the charter school industry is real estate. To see how this works, consider the case of River City Science Academy in Jacksonville. 

Link to article: https://www.news-press.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/10/13/pushing-charter-schools-accountability/754658001/
nother article mentions it on page 184-185:  https://empireofdeceit.com/resources/pdf/Empire_of_Deceit_final.pdf

Amy Coney Barrett and the consequences

Update: Barrett and the other extremist justices do not recognize reproductive rights as indicated in the leaked Alito opinion:

Why didn’t Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute invite someone that would be willing to challenge Barrett’s extremist views? I was disappointed in Rick Mullaney’s interview of Amy Coney Barrett:

Around minute 36 in the video, Mullaney asks if Congress had a right to pass the Affordable Care Act. He uses the phrase “fundamental right to health care.”  She doesn’t answer the question about a fundamental right to health care, but instead starts rambling about the death penalty and abortion. Later in the interview, Barrett says the Supreme Court wrongly decided that the “exchanges” could mean the “exchanges” offered at the federal level. In other words, she would have ruled to deprive citizens of the subsidy the ACA provides if a state didn’t offer “exchanges”. Luckily the Supreme Court (without her) ruled to allow citizens in states that don’t have exchanges to still qualify for the ACA subsidies.

Around minute 40–see link above–she claims that trans people aren’t the gender they identify as. She uses the phrase “physiologically a boy.” The definition of “physiological” is characteristic of or appropriate to an organism’s healthy or normal functioning. One must ask does “normal” mean average or usual? Keep in mind that normative means “supposed to.” And heteronormative means a world view that promotes heterosexuality as the normal or preferred sexual orientation.

Barrett’s unscientific view of gender will hurt real people. Scientific research (specifically through genetics, neurobiology and endocrinology) helps us understand the transgender experience. (ref 3)

There are two oaths: constitutional oath and judicial oath. (Reference 11) Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas swore in Amy Coney Barrett under a constitutional oath at a White House event Monday evening. (Ref 10) Why did Thomas do it? Why didn’t Chief Justice Roberts do both? Justice Thomas thinks states should be allowed to establish their own religion. (Ref 7) I fear the White House ceremony that took place Monday evening is signaling how the court will rule concerning government collaboration with religious institutions. What will happen to the wall separating church and state? Will the new Supreme Court give states the power to pass laws preferring one religion over another, or to take taxpayer money and give it to the church preferred by the Governor? 

I also fear that Barrett and the other extremist justices do not recognize reproductive rights.  (Ref 8) Reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right to decide freely and responsibly on the number and timing of children and the right to attain the highest standard of reproductive health. (Ref 9)

There was a time (the Lochner era) when the Supreme Court ruled that legislators couldn’t pass laws to protect workers. (Ref 5 and 6) Will this new Court take us back to the Lochner era?

Judge Barrett has explicitly stated that “adherence to originalism arguably requires … the reversal of Brown v. Board of Education,” the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) quoted a phrase from an article co-written by Barrett.  The LDF report says the discussion of Brown “raises serious questions about her commitment to enforcing core civil rights protections. … Treating Brown as potentially mistaken, even if untouchable, is far different from recognizing that it was correctly decided.” (ref 4)  

Barrett’s originalism is an intellectual cloak drummed up to dignify a view of the Constitution as a straitjacket on the ability of the local, state, and federal government to act on behalf of the public. Her version of originalism seems to ignore the Constitution’s preamble, which states that one of its basic purposes is to “promote the general welfare.” I wish the Republicans in the Senate had not confirmed her nomination. I fear that she has no empathy for real people. Will the American people hold the senators responsible who confirmed Barrett?


1. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/10/originalism-barrett/616844/
2.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yjTEdZ81lI
3.  https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/voices/stop-using-phony-science-to-justify-transphobia/https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2018/10/erase-transgender-definition

4. https://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/school_law/2020/10/barrett_says_brown_v_board_of_.html
5.  The Supreme Court ruled 5–4 that the law limiting bakers’ working hours did not constitute a legitimate exercise of state powers and so it was unconstitutional. The Court argued for freedom of contract and that unequal bargaining power was irrelevant. 
6. …judges like Barrett generally have been willing to strike down laws they don’t like. It is an echo of the so-called Lochner era of the early 20th century, when the Supreme Court threw out laws on the minimum wage, child labor or other business regulation. So get ready for a big, long fight over the American economy, with the Supreme Court at the center of it all. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/19/briefing/amy-coney-barrett-voting-world-series-your-monday-briefing.html

7. Justice Thomas wrote: “The text and history of the Establishment Clause strongly suggest that it is a federalism provision intended to prevent Congress from interfering with state establishments.”https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/02-1624.ZC2.html
8. Connecticut law even criminalized the use of contraception altogether. https://fortune.com/2015/06/07/50-years-legal-birth-control-workplace/
9. Link about reproductive rights:  https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/en/
10. The 48-year-old, sworn in by Justice Clarence Thomas at the White House in the 9 p.m.hour, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/10/27/daily-202-voting-wars-flare-up-justice-barrett-joins-supreme-court/
11. https://www.supremecourt.gov/about/oath/oaths_of_the_current_court_10-1-2010.pdf

12. Why didn’t Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute invite someone that would be willing to challenge Barrett’s extremist views?  Regarding this article: