Ladapo’s rule 64DER21-15

64DER21-15 is a new rule from the newly appointed head of the Florida Department of Health.  Governor DeSantis appointed Ladapo, but the state senate has not yet confirmed him. As you read this, please consider if you’d like to ask your state senator to vote no on Dr. Ladapo’s confirmation.

You can find the text of the new ruling at this link:
https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/64DER21-15.pdf

The new rule also says, “64DER21-15 repeals and replaces rule 64DER21-12 that was adopted August 6, 2021.”

Under the section called “specific reasons“, 64DER21-15 notice says “the Department observed no meaningful difference in the number of COVID-19 cases in school-aged children in counties where school districts have imposed mask mandates…” On what is Dr. Ladapo basing that statement? He indicates no study or data to support that claim. Is he basing that statement on data pre-delta variant?  What would be his conclusion if masking was the only option of these four:

  • windows open
  • keeping six feet apart
  • excellent ventilation systems
  • mask mandates

Excerpt from this article:

Chalkbeat dove back into the research. In short, existing studies focusing on schools — including those cited on both sides of the debate — are strikingly limited. Little if any research has definitively shown what effect masks have on COVID spread in schools. At the same time, there is a broader body of evidence collected in other settings that suggests that masks help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19. That appears to be what’s driving health authorities to recommend masking in the classroom, alongside a general desire to minimize the risk to children and communities when cases are rising. “It’s entirely possible that open windows or fresh-air ventilation accounts for nearly all the mitigation benefit in a classroom and other ‘layered’ interventions may contribute only a marginal benefit or none at all,” concludes Zweig. In fact, it’s not clear that any of the most cited studies examining masks in schools are able to pin down cause and effect. “All of the studies that I have seen,” said Tulane University epidemiologist Susan Hassig, “are not sufficiently rigorous to assess the actual effectiveness of masks” in schools. Some experts say we should look beyond research on masking in schools and keep the basic logic of masking in mind. COVID-19 “is transmitted predominately by inhalation of respiratory droplets generated when people cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe,” explains the CDC. The logic of masks, then, is straightforward. They can block particles, protecting the wearer and limiting transmission from an individual who has the virus. Masking is particularly important for a disease like COVID-19 where an infected individual can transmit the disease before developing symptoms (and thus realizing they should stay home).  Laboratory  simulations  confirm that masks stop many — though not all — of these droplets that could contain the virus. Jeremy Howard, author of a review of masking research and a research scientist at the University of San Francisco, says the benefits of masks very likely apply in school. “For masks in schools, the weight of evidence, when you combine it all together, is very strong,” he said. Mike Smith, a pediatrics professor and epidemiologist at Duke said “We have to make decisions weighing the risks and benefits without the gold standard randomized-controlled trial data.” Ultimately, Sarah Bode, a pediatrician in Columbus, Ohio argues, masks will help keep schools open during the delta surge, and the benefits of in-person school outweigh any downsides of masking.

https://www.chalkbeat.org/2021/8/26/22643549/covid-masks-schools-research

Elected school boards only make rules for the district-run schools. Charter school boards will be making the rules for their schools. Some Florida state laws apply to both and some only apply to district-run schools. However, I think most people agree district-run and charter schools are considered “public schools” but I keep making the plea that the term “public schools” is outdated since the advent of charter schools and voucher funded private schools. Should public schools mean any school that receives public funds? When people use the term “public schools,” are they being intentionally vague?

64DER21-15 is called “Protocols for Controlling COVID-19 in School Settings.”   Can’t we assume that means all schools?

Item (1) of 64DER21-15 does use the term “public schools” so I assume everyone will agree it applies to the district-run and the charter schools. I make the case that it also applies to voucher funded private schools because of Florida Statute 1002.421 which says:

.A private school participating in an educational scholarship program established pursuant to this chapter must …  be in compliance with all requirements of this section …(g)Meet applicable state and local health, safety, and welfare laws, codes, and rules…

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View%20Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=1002.421&URL=1000-1099/1002/Sections/1002.421.html

Items (2) and (3) of 64DER21-15 definitely seem to apply to ALL schools, even private schools that don’t receive government funding.

Why is the state Board of Education only going after the district-run schools? Are they even asking what protocols charter and voucher funded private schools are following? Are they threatening to reduce the funding of charter and voucher funded private schools that follow CDC guidelines? The 4 out of the 7 Duval county school board members are merely trying to follow CDC guidelines. Ladapo’s new rule is NOT following CDC guidelines. I agree with the counties that say the Florida Health Department shouldn’t have the authority to tell the Constitutional Officers (the elected school boards)  to NOT follow CDC guidelines. It’s outrageous!

When people use the term “public schools,” are they being intentionally vague? What did “public schools” mean when Article IX of our Florida Constitution was last amended? I’ve heard many people say “charter schools are public schools” but they don’t have to follow all the rules set by district school boards. My memory tells me that charter schools have only been in Florida for 20 years. I’m not sure when the state legislature started giving vouchers to help cover the cost of private school tuition.

ARTICLE IX of Florida’s Constitution

SECTION 1. Public education.—(a) The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education and for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of institutions of higher learning and other public education programs that the needs of the people may require. To assure that children attending public schools obtain a high quality education, the legislature shall make adequate provision to ensure that, by the beginning of the 2010 school year, there are a sufficient number of classrooms so that … 

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?submenu=3#A9S01

How would you define expert when you want an expert to design the standards for a course on the Holocaust?

Do you object to any of the new Holocaust standards? The  final version of the Holocaust standards starts on page 20:
https://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/18736/urlt/SR-SocialStudies.pdf

When we advocate for “experts” to draft standards for our district-run schools, how should we define “expert”?

The task force’s official position is that the Holocaust should be “taught in ways that encourage a pluralistic perspective and democratic practices.” This view is standard among Holocaust education experts.“ The Holocaust should be studied in a way that builds empathy and focuses on social action so that it doesn’t happen again,” Dobrick said. “You have to also bring into Holocaust education things like hate groups today, and hate crimes against Asian Americans, and shootings at synagogues and mosques.” Though the final draft of the standards includes, at the very end, the mandate to “recognize the significance of ‘Never Again,’” Hershfield argues that the rest of the document fails to live up to that goal. “If we truly want to educate our next generation to understand the evils of hatred, exposed during the Holocaust, we must address the universal lessons,” Hershfield wrote in a letter to FLDOE on June 11th. “Failure to do so effectively makes the last proposed standard a mere label without any meaning or substance.”  … LAST OCTOBER, the expert panel appointed to write Florida’s Holocaust education standards—a group composed of scholars and Jewish communal leaders—received feedback on a draft of the standards from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) provided by the right-wing Christian Zionist organization Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN). … Tensions boiled over at a February meeting between FLDOE officials and members of the expert panel and task force. Stier likened the FLDOE’s reliance on PJTN to inviting a group “championing the so-called ‘lost cause’ of the southern states” to contribute to learning standards on slavery. … The expert panel rejected PJTN’s recommendations, citing both historical inaccuracies and an inappropriately religious tenor, which, they wrote in a letter, “has no place in the public school curriculum.” … Over the course of many months, the members of both the expert panel and a state-appointed Holocaust education task force of area experts fought to minimize PJTN’s influence on the standards—but the final draft still bears evidence of the group’s political project, and its efforts to overtly falsify history to build support for Zionism. The latest standards contain scaled-down versions of the inaccuracies that the experts have protested. … PJTN’s communications director, Jackie Monaghan, explained that “Jewish interests are a big part of our game plan.” The “game plan” of Christian Zionists is well established: They support complete Jewish control over Israel/Palestine based on the theological premise that it will bring about the rapture, or the end of days. The group approaches state education standards as an opportunity to cultivate political support for Zionism toward its theological ends. … PJTN is not the only group guiding the transformation of Florida’s schools: In 2020, FLDOE also invited Hillsdale College, a conservative college in Michigan with deep ties to pro-Trump Republicans, to weigh in on civics education standards. …

https://jewishcurrents.org/the-christian-zionist-group-shaping-holocaust-education-in-florida/

The League of Women Voters has a list of issues for which they advocate.  I think they need to define “expert” in this bullet point:

Support a curricular framework that includes broad common standards developed by educational experts that serves as a guide to local districts.

https://lwvfl.org/issues/education/

The way I understood Florida Statute 1003.42 (2)(g) is that its main purpose was to explain the Holocaust in a way to reduce prejudice against all groups. It wasn’t meant to be a history course or a course on comparative religions.  Am I wrong?  This is how that statute reads:

(g)1. The history of the Holocaust (1933-1945), the systematic, planned annihilation of European Jews and other groups by Nazi Germany, a watershed event in the history of humanity, to be taught in a manner that leads to an investigation of human behavior, an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping, and an examination of what it means to be a responsible and respectful person, for the purposes of encouraging tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic society and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions,

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=1000-1099/1003/Sections/1003.42.html 

Some of the new standards seem to have an agenda other than trying to instill tolerance in our children. Specifically
1. It seems to me (and I could be wrong) 912.HE.1.3 is trying to tell kids that reparations led those paying the reparations into an irrational mob mentality. That seems a distortion of history. Certainly there could be a course about the pros and cons of reparations, but does it belong in a course about the Holocaust?
2. It seems to me (and I could be wrong) SS.912.HE.2.2  is trying to blame Hitler’s actions on the one Jewish kid who committed a crime. How is that helpful? It was HItler who did these things.  It’s like blaming George Floyd for Trump having protesters pepper sprayed.

Please tell me if you think these are OK. These are excerpts from the standards (see link above):
SS.68.HE.1.1 
 Students will describe the basic beliefs of Judaism.   
 Students will identify examples of antisemitism related to Israel 
SS.912.HE.1.3   
  Students will recognize German culpability, reparations and military downsizing as effects of the Treaty of Versailles  
SS.912.HE.1.7  
 Students will explain how the Nazis used propaganda, pseudoscience and the law to transform Judaism from a religion to a race.   
SS.912.HE.2.2 
 Students will understand the reasons for Herschel Grynszpan’s actions at the German embassy in Paris and how the assassination of Ernst vom Rath was a pretext used by the Nazis for Kristallnacht.

Admittedly my knowledge of history isn’t that great. I wasn’t interested in history in school. Maybe we do need to know the ugly as well as the good so we can know when people are distorting history. However, it doesn’t seem that the new standards are focusing on

The history of the Holocaust (1933-1945), … [should be] taught in a manner that leads to an investigation of human behavior, an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping, and an examination of what it means to be a responsible and respectful person, for the purposes of encouraging tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic society and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions,

Civics standards in Florida–they asked our opinion

They asked our opinion. Here’s the survey:
https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6360487/Civics-and-Government-Standards-2
Here’s the proposed standards:
http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/18736/urlt/CivicsGovernment.pdf

The changes I suggested in the survey are listed in red:

SS.K.CL.1.1 Identify the purpose for rules and laws in the home, school and community.
● Students will define rules as standards of responsible behavior (e.g., rules for home and school).
● Students will define laws as a system of rules intended to protect people and property which are created and enforced by government (e.g., follow the speed limit).
● Students will identify the difference between rules and laws.
● Students will identify what happens without rules and laws.
SS.K.CL.1.2 Define a constitution as an agreed-upon set of rules.
● Students will recognize that the United States has a constitution.
● Students will identify the words “We the People” as found in the United States Constitution

I’d hate for Kindergarteners to learn that the Constitution is merely a rule that won’t be enforced by our government. I suggest they change the SS.K.CL.1.2 benchmark from
Define a constitution as an agreed-upon set of rules
to:
Define a constitution as the supreme law of the land.

SS.K.CL.2.3 Define patriotism as a love of one’s country.
● Students will identify the patriotic holidays and observances (e.g., American Founders Month, Celebrate Freedom Week, Independence Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Patriot Day, Veterans Day).

I don’t see how the clarification helps explain the benchmark. Delete this clarification:
Students will identify the patriotic holidays and observances (e.g., American Founders Month, Celebrate Freedom Week, Independence Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Patriot Day, Veterans Day)

SS.K.CL.2.4 Recognize symbols that represent the United States.
● Students will recognize the American flag, Pledge of Allegiance and United States currency as symbols that represent the United States.
● Students will identify “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” as the Pledge of Allegiance.

Delete currency as one of the symbols.
Add these symbols:
Liberty Bell, the Statute of Liberty
Add:
Students will identify when “under god” was added to the pledge of allegiance
and discuss if it makes atheists uncomfortable

SS.K.CL.2.5 Recognize symbols that represent Florida.
● Students will recognize Florida’s state flag as a symbol that represents the state

Delete that benchmark. How does it help? Some founding fathers were reportedly atheists and some Americans are atheists. It doesn’t feel right to push theism in a school that is supposed to be for all Americans.

SS.1.CL.2.4 Recognize symbols and individuals that represent the United States.
● Students will recognize the Bald Eagle, the United States President, Uncle Sam, and national motto (“In God We Trust”) as symbols that represent the United States.
● Students will recognize Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr. as individuals who represent the United States.

Delete the benchmark or add: The modern motto of the United States of America, as established in a 1956 law signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is “In God we trust”. The 1956 law was the first establishment of an official motto for the country, although E Pluribus Unum (“from many, one”) was adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782 as the motto for the Seal of the United States. Many Americans are atheists which means they don’t believe in a god. In America, theists and atheists can live in harmony.

SS.1.CL.3.2 Recognize that the United States and Florida have Constitutions.
 Students will define a constitution as an agreed-upon set of rules.

Change “Students will define a constitution as an agreed-upon set of rules.”
To: Students will define our Constitution as the supreme law of the land.

SS.3.CL.1.2 Describe how the United States government gains its power from the people.
● Students will define popular sovereignty.
● Students will recognize what is meant by the consent of the governed.
● Students will identify sources of consent (e.g., voting and elections).
● Students will recognize that the United States republic is government by the “consent of the governed” and government power is exercised through representatives of the people.

Delete this:
Government power is exercised through representatives of the people.
Add this:
Elected representatives who abuse their power can be removed from office during an election, impeachment and recalls.

SS.3.CL.2.5 Recognize symbols, individuals, documents and events that represent Florida.
● Students will recognize the Great Seal of the Florida as a symbol that represents the state.
● Students will recognize William Pope Duval and William Dunn Moseley as individuals who represent Florida.
● Students will recognize the Declaration of Rights in the Florida Constitution as a document that represents Florida.
● Students will recognize that Florida became the 27th state of the United States on March 3, 1845

I don’t see what this has to do with civics. Delete this benchmark.

SS.4.CL.2.3 Identify ways Florida citizens can show respect for their state.
● Students will recognize ways for showing respect for Florida (e.g., cleaning up litter, showing care for wildlife, keeping waterways clean, putting flags on veterans’ graves, cleaning graffiti from public spaces and tending public gardens).

Instead of “state”, it should say community.

SS.4.CL.3.3 Identify the United States as a constitutional republic.
● Students will identify a constitutional republic as a symbol of the United States.
● Students will recognize that Florida has a representative government.

Change “constitutional republic” to “democratic constitutional republic.”
References:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/05/13/is-the-united-states-of-america-a-republic-or-a-democracy/
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/11/yes-constitution-democracy/616949/
Add:
As a republic’s most unique feature, a constitution, enables it to protect the minority from the majority by interpreting and, if necessary, overturning laws made by the elected representatives of the people. In the United States, the Constitution assigns this function to the U.S. Supreme Court and the lower federal courts. The Constitution was meant to foster a complex form of majority rule, not enable minority rule. American constitutional design can best be understood as an effort to establish a sober form of democracy. It did so by embracing representation, the separation of powers, checks and balances, and the protection of individual rights

SS.5.CL.1.4 Discuss arguments for adopting a republican form of government.
● Students will identify Federalist and Anti-Federalist arguments supporting and opposing the ratification of the United States Constitution.
● Students will explain what is meant by a representative government

Add: Students will explain what it means to be a democratic republic with checks and balances to keep the majority from abusing the minority and to keep the elected representatives from abusing their power.

SS.7.CL.1.3 Explain the influence of religion (Hebraic and Christian) on America’s founding ideas about law and government.
● Students will recognize ideas contained in the founding documents (e.g., due process of law, equality of mankind, limited government, natural rights, the rule of law) have origins in religious texts.
● Students will identify “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as God-given rights expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
● Students will explain what is meant by the phrase “all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights…” as expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
● Students will describe how religious ideas (e.g., due process of law, equality of mankind, limited government, natural rights, the rule of law) influenced America’s Founding ideals and documents.

Delete this benchmark. Religion should be taught in the home and religious institutions. Keep the schools nonsectarian so everyone feels welcome. Please make every neighborhood school GREAT. Let people get their version of religion at their home and religious institution.

SS.7.CL.3.10 Analyze the effects of landmark Supreme Court cases on law, liberty and the interpretation of the United States Constitution.
● Students will recognize landmark Supreme Court cases (e.g., Marbury v. Madison; Dred Scott v. Sandford; Plessy v. Ferguson; Brown v. Board of Education; Gideon v. Wainwright; Miranda v. Arizona; In re Gault; United States v. Nixon; Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier).
● Students will use primary sources to assess the significance of each United States Supreme Court case.
● Students will evaluate the impact of each case on society.
● Students will recognize and/or apply constitutional principles and/or rights in relation to the relevant United States Supreme Court decisions

The “e.g.” list doesn’t include them all.

SS.7.CL.3.13 Explain the advantages of capitalism and a free market system over government-controlled economic systems (e.g., socialism and communism) in generating economic
prosperity for all citizens.
● Students will recognize various economic systems (e.g., capitalism, communism, socialism).
● Students will identify the relationship between various economic systems and the ideal of freedom.
● Students will analyze scenarios describing various forms of economic systems.

Revise the benchmark. The simple terms “capitalism” and “socialism” obscure the fact we have some government controlled systems such as police departments. Also we have regulated capitalism not a complete free market system.

SS.912.CL.4.1 Discuss how liberty and economic freedom generate broad-based opportunity and prosperity in the United States.
● Students will differentiate between government systems (e.g., autocracy, democracy, monarchy, oligarchy republic, theocracy).
● Students will differentiate between economic systems (e.g., capitalism, communism, mixed market, socialism).
● Students will analyze the disadvantages of authoritarian control over the economy (e.g., communism and socialism) in generating broad-based economic prosperity for their population.

Add: Brainstorm solutions to the problem of poverty and wages too low to survive without some form of welfare.

Letters to the editor published 2020 and 2021

State legislators need to safeguard our tax dollars Published April 25, 2021
Charter schools need clawback provision Published April 10, 2021
All publicly funded schools should be required to meet the same high standards Published March 15, 2021
Ideas for charter school reporting Published February 13, 2021
Civics education in schools needs a boost Published February 25, 2021
Charter schools need clawback provision Published Feb 3, 2021
School sales tax needs clawback provision Published December 20, 2020
Oppose SB 484 Published January 15, 2021
Say no to SB 582 Published February 5, 2021
We need compassion and empathy from police Published October 13, 2020
Parks shouldn’t be named for human traffickers Published Sept 9, 2020
Mayor needs to put teeth Into his mask mandate Published August 14, 2020
Published June 18 but no title–it was about Mayor Curry using our tax money to bring Trump here
Legislature should not require sharing funds with charters Published Feb 25, 2020

Can public sentiment persuade our school board to deny charter school applications?

My public records request revealed that no capital outlay funds were returned after the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) showed seven Duval Charter schools as closing between 2015 and 2020. No capital outlay funds were recouped in spite of the Florida statute 1013.62 that says:

(5) If a charter school is nonrenewed or terminated, any unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased with district public funds shall revert to the ownership of the district school board, as provided for in s. 1002.33(8)(d) and (e). In the case of a charter lab school, any unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased with university public funds shall revert to the ownership of the state university that issued the charter. The reversion of such equipment, property, and furnishings shall focus on recoverable assets, but not on intangible or irrecoverable costs such as rental or leasing fees, normal maintenance, and limited renovations. The reversion of all property secured with public funds is subject to the complete satisfaction of all lawful liens or encumbrances. If there are additional local issues such as the shared use of facilities or partial ownership of facilities or property, these issues shall be agreed to in the charter contract prior to the expenditure of funds.

Action item:  Write your elected state representatives and ask why they didn’t put more protections in place before they voted yes on HB 7097 in 2020 forcing us to give part of sales surtax to charter schools on a per student rather than a needs based formula. Clearly more protections were needed since no capital outlay funds were returned (according to the public records request) when charter schools closed. The legislature forced us to give our sales tax dollars to charter schools on a per student basis with HB 7097.  It begins on line 1301 of HB 7097:

(b) 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.

 https://flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2020/7097/BillText/er/PDF

Would public sentiment give the school board the strength to deny charter school applications for charter schools that don’t clearly lay out the plan for returning our sales surtax dollars in the event the school closes?

The newly approved KIPP charter school has requested to be a feeder school so it doesn’t have to wait the two year probationary period to get our sales surtax money. My understanding is the school district has the ability to deny that request. If they approve the request, then all other schools will get a smaller percentage of the sales surtax money since the allocation is based on a percentage of the school’s enrollment to total enrollment.

According to a DCPS website $922,541.99 is the sales surtax share for the charter schools in 2021 so far. I hope going forward the website will give us more information. I assume that number is the dollar amount for January to March since sales tax returns are normally filed quarterly and the sales surtax began January 1st of this year.

Please encourage your elected school board representative or sales surtax citizen oversight committee member to demand that the school district make the website report this information:

  • How much of our sales surtax money did each charter school get?
  • What provisions are in each charter school contract that will allow the school district to recoup the funds, the equipment, and the facility purchased with our sales surtax dollars if the charter school should close?
  • Date the charter school closed if it isn’t still open or the date it quit receiving funds
  • Reason the charter school isn’t receiving funds other than a closing. Examples are listed in Florida Statute 1013.62 and include financial problems or inadequate student achievement.
  • How much, if any, of our sales surtax dollars was recouped when the charter school closed?

My public records request asked why the seven Duval County Charter schools (that had been receiving state capital outlay funds) quit receiving them.

Many other charter schools closed before they had been open 2 years, which is the usual probationary period before a charter school can receive capital outlay funds under 1013.62. The two KIPP schools in the list of seven charter schools that closed didn’t exactly close; they merged with another KIPP school. I wonder why. Was it so they could more easily share money? Was it because merging them protected them from losing funds due to a bad grade? According to Florida Statute 1013.62, the capital outlay funding will stop for a couple of reasons including not meeting these requirements:

2. 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.

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

The other five charter schools on the list are shown as closing for various reasons including financial insolvency and declining enrollment.

The public records department of the Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) made me pay $151.44 before they’d look for the information. Don’t you think the information should be readily available? The Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) abdicated responsibility even though it was the state legislators that forced these dollars to be given to charter schools with inadequate safeguard provisions within the state law. The FLDOE responded to my public records request:

The Duval County School Board serves as sponsor of charter schools and would be the appropriate resource for information on school closures in the county. You may contact Mr. Eugene Hays, Director of Charter Schools, Duval County School at hayse@duvalschools.org to find the reasons the listed charter schools closed.

I continue to wish the school board or citizen sales surtax oversight committee would create better safeguards for our sales surtax money that is going to charter schools that may close. It’s a travesty that the state legislators passed HB 7097 in 2020 forcing us to give our sales surtax to charter schools without proper safeguards.

The dollar amount being reported on the FLDOE website (as shown below) as received includes PECO funds which (I think) in some years the state legislators gave it all to charter schools and none to the neighborhood or magnet schools. These are the seven charter schools I asked about:

2012-2019
total $ rec’d school #
318,575160601   KIPP VOICE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (closed 2017)
515,118161341   MURRAY HILL HIGH SCHOOL (closed 2015)
21,161165531   VALOR ACADEMY OF LEADERSHIP MIDDLE SCHOOL (closed 2016)
149,650165581   KIPP JACKSONVILLE K-8 (closed 2018)
22,327161381   SOMERSET EAGLE HIGH SCHOOL (closed 2016)
279,440165501   Somerset Preparatory Academy (closed 2015)
418,464161181   SIATECH (SCHOOL FOR ACCELERATED LEARNING AND TECHNOLOGIES, INC) (closed 2020)

The Florida statutes 1013.62 (4) say capital outlay funds can only be expended by charter schools for these reasons:

   (a) Purchase of real property.  (b) Construction of school facilities.  (c) Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of permanent or relocatable school facilities. (d) Purchase of vehicles to transport students to and from the charter school. (e) Renovation, repair, and maintenance of school facilities that the charter school owns or is purchasing through a lease-purchase or long-term lease of 5 years or longer. (f) Payment of the cost of premiums for property and casualty insurance necessary to insure the school facilities. (g) Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of driver’s education vehicles; motor vehicles used for the maintenance or operation of plants and equipment; security vehicles; or vehicles used in storing or distributing materials and equipment. (h) Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of computer and device hardware and operating system software necessary for gaining access to or enhancing the use of electronic and digital instructional content and resources; and enterprise resource software applications that are classified as capital assets in accordance with definitions of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, have a useful life of at least 5 years, and are used to support schoolwide administration or state-mandated reporting requirements. Enterprise resource software may be acquired by annual license fees, maintenance fees, or lease agreement. (i) Payment of the cost of the opening day collection for the library media center of a new school.

I asked the FLDOE:  Is there any provision to pay the taxpayer back if the building is sold?

​They answered:
​Section 1013.62 (4) F.S. states, “If a charter school is non-renewed or terminated, any unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased with district public funds shall revert to the ownership of the district school board. The reversion of such equipment, property, and furnishings shall focus on recoverable assets, but not on intangible or irrecoverable costs such as rental or leasing fees, normal maintenance, and limited renovations. The reversion of all property secured with public funds is subject to the complete satisfaction of all lawful liens or encumbrances. If there are additional local issues such as the shared use of facilities or partial ownership of facilities or property, these issues shall be agreed to in the charter contract prior to the expenditure of funds.”

I asked the FLDOE:  Do related party rules apply so that our sales surtax money can ONLY be used (directly or indirectly via lease payments to a related party) on items mentioned in 1013.62(4)? In other words, can related parties use our sales surtax money to repay loans? It seems that charter schools are setting up related party entities to skirt the rules of 1013.62(4) that bar capital outlay funds from being used to repay loans.  Is that legal?

​They answered:​
Capital outlay may be used to purchase, construct or lease a facility. The sponsor ​[the school district] ​has fiduciary responsibility as it holds the contract with the governing board of the charter school.

Don’t those answers give you the impression that the elected school board and the school district have some ability to deny charter school applications in order to protect our sales surtax money? If you answer yes to that question, please write your elected school board member. Public sentiment might give the school board the courage to act to safeguard our sales surtax money in spite of what the state legislators have done.

Action item:
Write your elected school board member (or maybe all seven school board members) and ask:

What protections are in place to recoup our sales surtax dollars WHEN a charter school closes? Please deny any charter school applications whose charter contract doesn’t clearly lay out the charter school’s plan to allow the school district to recoup the sales surtax dollars and the assets it purchased when the charter school closes.

You might ask how that can be done when the sales surtax money may be used to make lease payments to an organization that is related to the charter school? That raises this question: are charter schools setting up shell companies to skirt the rules? If yes, what can be done about their effort to defraud the taxpayer?

References and other articles of interest

As for a breakdown, Florida schools did earn perfect scores as far as accountability. That’s because the publicly-funded charter schools must abide by Florida’s Sunshine Law with open meetings and records, and the schools are subject to audits. But the state gets slammed for allowing for-profit entities to run charter schools and for allowing charter school boards to contract with private management contractors. NEA leaders, meanwhile, say the poor performance of charters nationwide shows how the concept has ultimately failed to meet expectations.

https://floridapolitics.com/archives/296109-nea-issues-florida-failing/

Governments at all levels have failed to implement systems that proactively monitor charter schools and hold them accountable. A 2016 report from the Center for Popular Democracy documents waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement of charter school funds, totaling more than $216 million.

https://www.nea.org/resource-library/state-charter-statutes

For the last two decades, Florida has been a laboratory for school choice policies: alternatives to public education like privately-run charter schools and taxpayer-funded scholarships to private institutions. Diane Ravitch argues that’s not something to celebrate or emulate. Ravitch is a historian, advocate and former assistant education secretary under Republican President George H. W. Bush. She once believed charters, vouchers and standardized testing could improve public school education. “I came to realize that the privatization movement was a continuation of a decades-long campaign by right-wingers who hated public schools, which they derisively called ‘government schools,’” she wrote of her personal evolution in her new book, Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools. “I renounced my own past views and determined to expose the well-funded smear campaign against American public schools and their teachers,” she wrote.

https://www.wlrn.org/education/2020-01-27/in-new-book-national-education-historian-calls-florida-model-of-lawlessness-and-greed

Should our elected school board fight back?

The tricky question is:   Should our elected school board fight back like the Leon County School Board did?

Excerpt from article:

After a lengthy debate, the Leon County School Board denied a new charter school’s application during Tuesday night’s board meeting. Scott Mazur, president of the local teacher’s union, said the charter’s application had “certain things that were missing.” George Levesque, attorney for the proposed school, said he hoped the board would consider “the recommendation made by your own staff — that the charter should be approved [despite the concerns].” Among several concerns laid out by staff  was how the school would maintain a safe school officer, required by law [for both district run and charter schools].

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2021/04/28/leon-county-school-board-denies-red-hills-academy-charter-application/4863727001/

I encourage the school board to adopt a policy that states that they will deny all charter school applications that do not include the following:         
* Give assurance that the charter school will accept and have adequate support for ESE students
* Fully explain the charter school’s plan to comply with the state law that requires a school safety officer with a gun to be at the school. Do they plan to allow teachers to be armed which the school district doesn’t allow for the district run schools?
* When the charter school closes, the building purchased or constructed with taxpayer dollars (either directly or indirectly via lease payments) must be leased to another charter school or allow the school district to share in the sales proceeds to recoup the tax money if the building is sold. After all, if the charter school is planning to fund the purchase with our sales surtax dollars, the school district should be able to have the ability to recoup our sales surtax dollars. Apparently the FLDOE thinks that also.

My guess is that most taxpayers don’t want our sales surtax money to fund the purchase of a school building that will later be sold to a private school for the purpose of enriching private real estate investors.

I asked the FLDOE these questions and here are the responses I received:

1. Is there any provision to pay the taxpayer back if the building is sold? Their answer:

Section 1013.62 (4) F.S. states, “If a charter school is non-renewed or terminated, any unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased with district public funds shall revert to the ownership of the district school board. The reversion of such equipment, property, and furnishings shall focus on recoverable assets, but not on intangible or irrecoverable costs such as rental or leasing fees, normal maintenance, and limited renovations. The reversion of all property secured with public funds is subject to the complete satisfaction of all lawful liens or encumbrances. If there are additional local issues such as the shared use of facilities or partial ownership of facilities or property, these issues shall be agreed to in the charter contract prior to the expenditure of funds.”

http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7716/urlt/Distribution-of-Charter-School-Capital-Outlay-Funds-for-2020-21-FY.PDF

2. Do related party rules apply so that our sales surtax money can ONLY be used (directly or indirectly via lease payments to a related party) on items mentioned in 1013.62(4)? In other words, can related parties use our sales surtax money to repay loans? It seems that charter schools are setting up related party entities to skirt the rules of 1013.62(4) that bar capital outlay funds from being used to repay loans. Is that legal?  Their answer:

The sponsor has fiduciary responsibility as it holds the contract with the governing board of the charter school.

An excerpt from 1002.33

[The applicant must disclose ] the name of any charter school operated by each applicant, each governing board member, and each proposed education services provider that has closed and the reasons for the closure; and the academic and financial history of such charter schools, which the sponsor shall consider in deciding whether to approve or deny the application.
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=1000-1099/1002/Sections/1002.33.html

References
I’m focusing on one charter school as an example but many of these facts can be applied to other charter school applications.


Jacksonville Classical Academy (K-6) with the FLDOE school number165831 hasn’t been in existence for two years so it has not yet begun to get the FLDOE capital outlay funds detailed on this website:  http://www.fldoe.org/finance/fco/charter-school-capital-outlay/

Jacksonville Classical Academy (which is part of the national charters getting their curriculum from Hillsdale College) got another Charter school approved May 4th by the school board. And apparently the charter school plans to move into a facility that housed a private school that closed in 2019.
Excerpt from a document about the charter school’s application found on the school board’s website.:  

“The school will be located in the Arlington area at 5900 Fort Caroline Road, Jacksonville, FL 32277.”

This article mentions that many of the students that attended the private school that closed (and is apparently the proposed location of the new charter school) were at least partially funding their tuition with McKay (for ESE students) vouchers. Excerpt from this 2019 article:

The principal of a Christian school in Arlington said financial issues due to low enrollment will force it to close its doors May 31 — the end of the current school year. Arlington Community Academy has been open for two years, opening as a kindergarten through third grade, and then adding a fourth grade this year. “He made a commitment to us that he would keep this school open for the Arlington community and he’s not doing that,” the unnamed parent said. “Within three years, he’s shutting down and he’s not telling us nothing.” “Enrollment is critical to maintaining operations,” Principal Gina Fafard wrote. “Despite our best efforts, enrollment has been significantly lower than expected, and we are not able to keep ACA operational beyond the end of the 2018-2019 school year.”

https://www.news4jax.com/news/2019/03/22/arlington-christian-school-tells-parents-it-will-close-in-may/

Some of the deficiencies in the charter school application concerned ESE students. Link to evaluation form that was found on the school board’s website:
https://civicclerk.blob.core.windows.net/stream/DUVALCOSB/ff97777bdf.pdf?sv=2015-12-11&sr=b&sig=4bEVy%2B6arEBODObA9REtTCtC9TkQ7Dx8SlrPKHQ08nU%3D&st=2021-05-05T23%3A01%3A16Z&se=2022-05-05T23%3A06%3A16Z&sp=r&rscc=no-cache&rsct=application%2Fpdf&fbclid=IwAR3cvkDmkYmv0mQuFny7HfHej2m6chg8ExLxwj-rAbdIkC9ugVbygFIeD-8

I assume real estate investors will buy the facility and lease it to the charter school because that’s usually what happens. The charter school will make the lease payments with our sales surtax dollars and other tax dollars.  Will the real estate developers sell the property back to a private school after they get our sales surtax dollars for several years? The Jacksonville Classical Academy on 2043 Forest St., 32204 leases its building from JEB Jacksonville Support Corporation. Details of that real estate investor group: 
https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_fl/N19000011884

Quote from this November 2020 opinion piece published after the sales tax referendum was passed: 

Rood said that Jacksonville Classical Academy will benefit from the recent half-cent sales tax referendum. Funds will be used to build a gym and free the school from some fundraising.

 https://www.jacksonville.com/story/opinion/editorials/2020/11/29/editorial-new-charter-school-looks-like-classic-success/6373373002/

I see that the new KIPP school is requesting to be designated as a feeder school so it can get our sales surtax money BEFORE the two year probation period. Will this new charter school attempt to be designated as a feeder school also?

Anyone want to comment about Critical Race Theory and the propaganda pamphlet I received from Hillsdale College? Excerpt I received from a public request I sent to Jacksonville Classical Academy:

Jacksonville Classical Academy (JXC) has been supported through the early stages of startup by the Barney Charter School Initiative (BCSI) of Hillsdale College. Jacksonville Classical Academy is a Licensed User of the Hillsdale College K-12 Curriculum.

This blog post is about Hillsdale College and Critical Race Theory: 
https://uniteusdonotdivideus.com/2021/05/01/critical-race-theory/

2015 article but this is still true:

A recent spate of charter-school closings illustrates weaknesses in state law. Florida requires local school districts to oversee charter schools but gives them limited power to intervene when cash is mismanaged or students are deprived. Lack of regulation can allow abuses.  …  A handful of South Florida charter schools that failed in the past five years owe a total of at least $1 million in public education money to local school districts, records show. The actual amount may be much higher. Districts struggle to track spending at troubled schools.

http://interactive.sun-sentinel.com/charter-schools-unsupervised/investigation.html

How much PECO funds did Duval County Charter Schools receive in April 2021?

When I asked the FLDOE if these were PECO funds of which I believe the district run schools got zero, this was the response:

Per the 2020 General Appropriations Act, Chapter 2020-111, specific appropriation 21, these capital funds are from the Public Education Capital Outlay and Debt Service Trust Fund (state funds).   

These Duval County charter schools received capital outlay funds from the state every month this year.  The amount received for April:

AprilName of charter school
15,090160471LONE STAR HIGH SCHOOL
8,338160531DUVAL MYCROSCHOOL OF INTEGRATED ACADEMICS AND TECHNOLOGIES
4,823161021SCHOOL OF SUCCESS ACADEMY-SOS
7,060161131WAYMAN ACADEMY OF THE ARTS
36,014161201RIVER CITY SCIENCE ACADEMY
9,919161211TIGER ACADEMY
66,154161221GLOBAL OUTREACH CHARTER ACADEMY
29,932161231DUVAL CHARTER SCHOLARS ACADEMY
19,197161251SOMERSET ACADEMY-ELEMENTARY, EAGLE CAMPUS
10,394161261SOMERSET ACADEMY-MIDDLE, EAGLE CAMPUS
107,446161271KIPP VOICE / KIPP IMPACT K-8
26,947161291RIVER CITY SCIENCE ELEMENTARY ACADEMY
25,028161311DUVAL CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL AT BAYMEADOWS
52,537161321DUVAL CHARTER AT BAYMEADOWS
6,078161331WAVERLY ACADEMY
24,544161371SEACOAST CHARTER ACADEMY
31,866165381SAN JOSE PREP
17,215165401SEASIDE COMMUNITY CHARTER SCHOOL
39,629165411DUVAL CHARTER SCHOOL AT WESTSIDE
8,535165421BISCAYNE HIGH SCHOOL
23,158165441RIVER CITY SCIENCE ACADEMY INNOVATION SCHOOL
34,614165511DUVAL CHARTER SCHOOL AT MANDARIN
49,009165551DUVAL CHARTER SCHOOL AT SOUTHSIDE
43,475165591DUVAL CHARTER SCHOOL AT FLAGLER CENTER
37,139165601RIVER CITY SCIENCE ACADEMY AT MANDARIN
16,461165611BRIDGEPREP ACADEMY DUVAL COUNTY
49,728165621DUVAL CHARTER SCHOOL AT COASTAL
20,989165631SEASIDE CHARTER K-8 SCHOOL
23,256165731GLOBAL OUTREACH CHARTER ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL
7,827165761SAN JOSE PRIMARY SCHOOL

The above information is from this website:
http://www.fldoe.org/finance/fco/charter-school-capital-outlay/

New charter schoolsThey need to be in existence 2 years to get capital outlay funds OR qualify as a feeder
165801Cornerstone Classical Academy (K-6)Approved in 2019 or 2020
not opening until 2022Global Outreach Charter Academy High School (9 – 10)Approved in 2019 or 2020
165831Jacksonville Classical Academy (K-6)Approved in 2019 or 2020
165711Seaside Charter North CampusApproved in 2019 or 2020
165791Seventh Generation Classical Academy at Mandarin Approved in 2019 or 2020
trying to get money early as a feeder schoolKIPP Jacksonville HS Approved in 2019 or 2020
165841River City Science Academy Intracoastal Approved in 2019 or 2020
not opening until 2022Global Outreach Intercoastal Approved in 2019 or 2020
not opening until 2022River City Science Academy Southeast Approved in 2019 or 2020
not opening until 2022San Jose North Approved in 2019 or 2020
165871Becoming Collegiate AcademySchool board approved January 2021
RIVER CITY EDUCATION ORGANIZATION, INC., TO OPEN SAN JOSE CYBER ACADEMYSchool board approved March 2021
GLOBAL ARTS ACADEMYSchool Board approved May 2021
JACKSONVILLE CLASSICAL ACADEMY EASTSchool Board approved May 2021

What is the future of charter schools?

It’s interesting to read the 2012-2013 study. My comments are in red. Everything else is from the study at this link:
https://lwvfl.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/issue-education-studies-actions-statewide-school-study.pdf

This ship has left the port, eh? Is there any chance of giving the school district this kind of flexibility?

  • Districts must identify unmet student and community educational needs as part of their strategic plans and submit priorities for alternative and/or charter schools to the Florida Department of Education.
  • Only charter schools that offer identifiable innovative teaching/learning methods or meet specific unmet needs should be authorized.
  • Districts must identify unmet student and community educational needs as part of their strategic plans and submit priorities for alternative and/or charter schools to the Florida Department of Education.
  • Only charter schools that offer identifiable innovative teaching/learning methods or meet specific unmet needs should be authorized.

These seem like ideas we should be able to advocate for:

  • A charter school governing board must have a minimum of one local representative, not the administrator, who resides in the community and is answerable to the school parents and community.
  • Those charter schools that educate students requiring ESE services must hire appropriately certified full or part time instructors before applying for additional funding for the services. 
  • Charter schools must report teacher and student retention.
  • The charter school audit template must be adequate for comparison and analysis and identify facilities ownership and management contractors.
  • Teachers and administrators, including principals, must meet certifications and qualifications at the same level as all other public school instructors or administrators.
  • All schools, even small ones, receiving state funds must report state assessment test scores, and receive some indicator of student achievement levels.
  • Administrators and board members of all public schools, including charters, must not supervise or determine compensation for family members.
  • Members of charter school governing boards must not have financial interests in the charter school.
  • Legislators serving on education or appropriation committees must recuse themselves on votes related to charter school finance if they have financial interests in charter schools.
  • As a recipient of public education funds, charter schools should be required to meet the same procurement requirements as other public institutions, including competitive bids for leasing, acquisition of sites and purchasing of supplies, equipment and facilities. The records should meet all public records laws for full disclosure.
  • Charter schools that acquire their facility using public funds must assure that the facility reverts to public ownership at the termination of the charter. If a facility is subject to a mortgage to be paid using public funds, the mortgage must disclose and protect the public’s interest in the facility.

These should be monitored by the FLDOE not the local school district staff.  The school district has enough on their plate especially if they don’t get the funds for the administrative staff to do this or the ability to deny charter school applications.

  • Charter school admissions and dismissal policies and procedures should be supervised by district staff to ensure they conform to state guidelines.


Has your view changed over time?  

How do you view charter schools? One of these two choices or another way?

Quote from ref 1:

The story goes something like this. In 1988, Albert Shanker, legendary president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), gave a speech at the National Press Club where he outlined his vision for a new kind of publicly funded, independently managed school. He called them “charters” and saw them as educational laboratories, where teachers could try out new pedagogical approaches. By empowering teachers to experiment with their craft, charters could serve as R&D spaces for new and better practices that could then be transferred back into traditional public schools. In a New York Times column published later that year, Shanker carried his ideas to the wider public.

Quote from ref 2:

Charter School Purpose: The purpose of charter schools is to serve unmet needs with a primary focus on low income families, reading, and innovative instructional methods. Local needs are best identified by the local school district as part of its strategic plan. To avoid inefficiency through duplicative programs or to avoid insufficient funding for either program to be successful, charter schools should serve as a complement to, not a competitor of, traditional public schools.

Quote from ref 3

Charter schools were intended to be centers of education experimentation and innovation, but they generally neither invent new teaching methods nor develop and spread new education practices. They’re businesses first, and schools second.

https://networkforpubliceducation.org/privatization-toolkit/

Ref 1 is a great article and worth the read.

Ref 2 is to the League of Women Voters-Florida study

http://files.ctctcdn.com/9e023c2e001/312a667d-ca9e-4dc6-be72-3eb1d9d47c25.pdf

It was referenced in this article. Excerpt from article:

RAVITCH: Florida is one of the most corrupt states in the country when it comes to education. I’ve read the reports of a group called Integrity Florida, which is a government ethics watchdog. I read the reports of the Florida League of Women Voters, and when they write about charter schools, they write about the blatant conflicts of interests of the people in the Florida Legislature

In New Book, National Education Historian Calls Florida ‘Model Of Lawlessness And Greed’

Ref 3 is Toolkit: School Privatization Explained


https://networkforpubliceducation.org/privatization-toolkit/

Critical Race Theory

Link to video of Education Commissioner Corcoran

Corcoran says beginning around minute 29 in the video:
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 …

Corcoran says beginning around minute 37 in the video:
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

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.
https://www.americanbar.org/groups/crsj/publications/human_rights_magazine_home/civil-rights-reimagining-policing/a-lesson-on-critical-race-theory/

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.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/05/gops-critical-race-theory-fixation-explained/618828/

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.
https://www.politico.com/newsletters/the-recast/2021/05/04/america-racism-politicians-response-492718

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.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/04/29/kamala-harris-responds-tim-scott-saying-america-not-racist-country/4886682001/

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?]?

https://tampabaytimes-fl.newsmemory.com/?publink=027695eda_1345d71


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.

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Imprimis_Mar_3-21_6pgNM.pdf

Jacksonville charter schools got these capital outlay funds

The above data is from this link:
http://www.fldoe.org/finance/fco/charter-school-capital-outlay/

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;

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=1000-1099/1013/Sections/1013.62.html