Book discussion on September 5th at Intuition Ale Works outside on the rooftop

Limit: 24 vaccinated people
The topic suggestions are in red. Excerpts from the book relating to that topic follow the topic question. “Location” is the location in the kindle version of the book.

1. Do agree with this?

 Location: 61—page xiv— “education is the one remaining public good to which most Americans still believe we are entitled to by right of citizenship.”

2. Let’s discuss the value of a public good and what is a public good.

 Location: 254—page 6–A private good benefits only those who consume it. A public good, such as public education, benefits all members of the local, state, and national community, whether or not they have children. …Neighborhood residents benefit when young people become involved in the community and reinvest their success locally. … That’s why we treat public education more like a park than a country club. We tax ourselves to pay for it, and we open it to everyone.
Location: 1,656—page 97—In research that would win him a Nobel Prize in Economics in 2016, Oliver Hart laid out the high cost of privatizing essential services. Privatization increases pressure to cut labor costs—worker pay, as well as funding for training—which, as he put it, “can lead to a substantial deterioration of quality”

3. What about testing? Should all schools give the same tests? Should testing be used to punish schools?

 Location: 2,356—page 144–In 1999, the inaugural year of Jeb Bush’s two terms as governor, Florida rolled out a system that assigned grades to schools solely on the basis of student standardized test scores. But such grading systems, popular among conservative lawmakers, school choice groups, and the American Legislative Exchange Council, spurred a backlash. Giving A ratings to schools solely on the basis of student test scores, which closely correlate with student demography, means that the wealthiest schools earn the top grades, while high-poverty schools get Ds and Fs. “‘A’ is for affluent,”

4. How much does deceptive advertising bother you?

 Location: 2,613—page 161–Outsized claims regarding college-going rates are common throughout the charter school marketing world. The “fine print,” meanwhile—that three out of four charter school graduates, on average, leave college without a degree—never appears.

5. How do you feel about neighborhood schools being forced to advertise because the charter schools and voucher funded private schools are advertising to lure kids away from the neighborhood and magnet schools?                

 Location: 2,510—page 155–Daniels imagined a future in which all schools, even those in affluent suburban districts, would feel the need to advertise. His hope was that schools would begin competing with each other more seriously for students and the dollars that come with them.
Location: 2,530—page 156–In a school landscape already riven by inequities of race and class, edvertising threatens to open new chasms: between privately subsidized charter networks with vast budgets to devote to advertising, and traditional public schools—or even small, independent charter schools—which must now direct scarce funds toward marketing.
Location: 2,583—page 159–What Moskowitz never mentioned was the expansive—and expensive—marketing that goes into producing that demand. After labor, which chews up the lion’s share of most school budgets, marketing is Success Academy’s biggest cost.
Location: 2,652—page 163–High-profile charter management organizations (CMOs) like Success Academy and KIPP have already developed these services in-house. Both devote extensive resources to building and maintaining their brands, projecting consistent imagery and narratives to an audience that includes not just prospective parents and teachers but also funders. KIPP, whose network of charters now includes 224 schools and more than one hundred thousand students, even maintains a “Brand Guidelines” video on its website.

6. What is the solution for the high cost of special education and the high cost of Bilingual courses?            

 Location: 603—page 29–Much of the increase in the cost of public education is due to an expansion of special education services. … In the 1960s spending on special education was less than half of what it would be by the end of the twentieth century. … In 1975 with the passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, later renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which required a “free and appropriate” education for all children, regardless of mental, physical, or emotional difference. … Special education costs roughly twice what general education costs, and millions of students have disabilities—two hundred thousand in New York City alone.
Location: 2,196 to 2204—page 133–When the Bilingual Education Act was passed in 1968, funding for programs increased from $7.5 million to $68 million. In 1974, the Equal Educational Opportunities Act was passed, requiring school districts to overcome barriers limiting equal participation by students. … A third group of students whose education comes with a cost are those with physical and intellectual disabilities….As the libertarian Reason Foundation complained, the regulatory state has “created ample provisions to protect and serve children with disabilities” without establishing “a cost-control provision in the law to protect the schools.” Market-oriented conservatives argue that the cost of such regulations is mostly wasted. Parents unhappy with the quality of a particular school, if provided choice, will simply move their children until they find the right fit.

7. How do you feel about neighborhood schools and socialism?               

 Location: 292 –page 8–And it isn’t just essential nutrition that schools provide. Increasingly, they have offered “wraparound services”—an approach that treats the school as the delivery site for a vast range of supports that children and their families require to overcome the hurdles erected by economic and social inequality. Advocates maintain that since out-of-school factors weigh so heavily in determining student achievement, using the school to address what’s happening in the home and the neighborhood makes sense.

8. How much do you think the Citizens United decision and super PACs are hurting our democracy?

Location: 1,579—page 92–And in Florida, the largest for-profit charter network in the state, Academica, is a major donor to conservative PACs and candidates … In fact, Florida’s charter school law, with its lax regulation and oversight, was written with the aid of the founder of yet another for-profit charter network: Charter Schools USA.  … The founder and his companies gave lavishly to pro-charter legislators, who do their part to expand funding to the charter sector and fend off regulatory efforts. 

9. Let’s discuss DeSantis’ attack on the local school boards and his broader attack on democracy

Location: 266—page 6—Consider elected school boards: imperfect though they are, the democratic process allows voters to hold them accountable for the success of the local schools.

10. Are you worried about charter schools being a way for privatizers to profit off the taxpayers rather than wanting to solve the problems of educating our children?

 Location: 1,588—page 93–charter schools “have turned into cash cows through multi-million-dollar business deals between charter schools and their founders.” One of the most egregious examples cited by the journalists was Republican lawmaker and charter school founder Eddie Farnsworth, who leveraged the state’s lax charter laws to become a millionaire. After the Republic series wrapped up, Farnsworth earned millions more by selling his for-profit charter school chain to a nonprofit entity created specifically to buy it.
Location: 1,629 to 1634—page 96–Making matters more complicated is the legal gray area, often by design, that distinguishes nonprofit and for-profit schools. ECOT, the Ohio virtual school that imploded in 2018, was a nonprofit; but founder William Lager’s management company, which ran the schools, was a for-profit entity. Most states require charter schools to operate on a nonprofit basis, but they often do little to impede the self-dealing that occurs through facilities leasing and contracting for services. …One Cleveland charter school, for instance, was paying about $516,000 above market rate to its for-profit landlord Imagine Schools.
Location: 1,855—page 111—The founder of the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, Nick Trombetta, was sentenced to prison in 2018 for embezzling more than $8 million from the school to purchase luxury goods and a private plane.
Location: 1,920—page 115–State audits revealed that two virtual charter schools fudged enrollment figures, then funneled the proceeds through a dizzying array of related companies. The auditors concluded that the officials “focused on maximizing profits and revenues by exploiting perceived vulnerabilities” at every level of state and local governance.
Location: 1,938—page 116–State regulators sought to “claw back” some of the profits that ECOT’s [another virtual charter school] founder had pocketed,

11. Should charter schools be eliminated or is adequate oversight and clawback provisions possible?

Location: 1,941—page 116–“Since so many of the virtual schools are driven by profit, one option is to limit private owners and operators. Another option is to create and implement safeguards regarding private EMOs.” The authors recommended creating regulatory oversight boards, mandating transparency regarding financing and student performance, and establishing accountability mechanisms.  
Location: 2,120—page 128–
Dramatic news stories of sudden school closures, as well as fraud perpetrated at the expense of teachers and students, are also fueling calls for more charter oversight.
Location: 2,211 to 2215—page 134–Nationwide, charter schools serve fewer students with disabilities than traditional public schools. As scholar Gary Miron has observed: “There is considerable evidence that charter schools actively discourage families from enrolling disabled children and counsel them to leave when they do manage to enroll.”31 Indeed, an entire industry of advocates and lawyers has emerged to help parents get the special education accommodations from charter schools that they are entitled to under federal law. … Private schools, for their part, are free to admit (or not admit) any student they like, even when the schools receive public funds via voucher programs  
Location: 2,224—page 135—School management companies, both for-profit and non-profit, are now routinely implicated in headline-grabbing financial scandals, many involving related-party transactions—wherein charter schools purchase goods or services from companies in which board members and other administrators have a financial stake. 

12. How worried are you that there is a movement afoot to eliminate the neighborhood schools?

Location: 39—page xiii of 267–[When the pandemic began and federal aid money was being made available] DeVos encouraged states to use federal funds to help parents pay private school tuition, and demanded that school districts share millions of aid dollars with wealthy private schools.
Location: 56—page xiv —When the Koch network held its annual retreat in 2018, Charles Koch told donors, that among the network’s priorities: replacing brick-and-mortar schools with a voucher program that would allow parents to purchase education products for their children in an Amazon-like marketplace.
Location: 161—page xxi —Those seeking to dismantle the system, meanwhile, are unified, patient, and well resourced.
Location: 3,303—page 207–As reporters for the Tampa Bay Times pointed out, DeSantis, who in the 2018 gubernatorial election beat an avowed supporter of public education by a mere thirty thousand votes, is enacted an ambitious plan for private school vouchers. … With a Republican-dominated legislature and a newly conservative Supreme Court in place to brush aside constitutional objections, Florida seems poised to dismantle its public education system once and for all.               

  13. Let’s discuss the broader ideology of personal freedom

 Location: 243—page 5— Freedom, of course, can be interpreted a number of different ways. One useful, if reductive, way of understanding such differences is to divide the concept between “freedom to” and “freedom from.”
Whereas the first kind of freedom, to act as an individual, requires checks on government power, the second kind of freedom requires the opposite. Freedom from hazards usually demands collective action, usually at the direction of government, and it often requires limits to individual autonomy.
Examples:
Freedom to: freedom to speak one’s mind, or to worship as one sees fit.
Freedom from: the threat of violence, or from environmental pollution.

14. Let’s discuss market philosophy and where it works and where it doesn’t

Location: beginning around 408—page 16–Unlike bread or beer or even milk, education is not merely produced for the individual who consumes it, but for the social, civic, and economic benefit of the broader public. ….Yet for adherents of market philosophy, what is true for the production of food is generalizable to public goods like education. …A contributor to the free market magazine Reason put it this way: “The freed market is a political-legal setting in which people are at liberty to peacefully pursue their chosen plans. This activity generates, unintentionally, an undesigned order that facilitates cooperation and coordination among even distant strangers, making each person’s pursuit more effective and efficient than otherwise…. And it does this work without compulsion or authoritarian central direction.”
Location: 432—page 17–The idea that the market model should be applied to education was first outlined three-quarters of a century ago by Milton Friedman.
 Location: 505—page 22–A report commissioned by the libertarian Reason Foundation, for instance, pronounced charters “a middle ground between the existing public-school system and a full school-choice program that allows the flow of public funds to private schools.” 
Location: 1,887—page 113–To that end, K12 Inc. has already experimented with outsourcing parts of its teachers’ jobs, including having student essays graded in India.   
Location: 1,980—page 119–The resulting prohibition against child labor was part of a vast legal framework that emerged during the Progressive Era, often in response to corporate abuses detailed by journalists who wanted to protect consumers and public interest   
Location: 2,089—page 126–Doug Tuthill, president of a group administering Florida’s school voucher program, wonders why teachers even need bachelor’s degrees, and maintains that private schools receiving taxpayer-funded vouchers should be free to hire whomever they want.

What are the qualifications to be on the state Board of Education?

I find it worrisome that these state Board of Education members who were appointed by Scott and DeSantis are drafting standards for our student’s curriculum.

An excerpt from the article:

Tuck took the State Board chairmanship — a position that can control the board’s agenda and serve as a bully pulpit — as the board stood poised to consider revisions to all K-12 academic standards. Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order in January calling for the review, with results due to him by the start of 2020. The board could have proposals to debate and vote on by spring 2020.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/gradebook/2019/08/08/florida-board-of-education-chairman-takes-beating-over-past-comments-on-evolution/

It makes me wonder if the attacks on teaching evolution are part of the problem. If people don’t have a basic grasp of evolution, they can’t grasp that the virus mutates? Even though this is a 2019 article, Andy Tuck is still on the state Board of Education.
Excerpt from article:

Andy Tuck voted with the Highlands School Board in 2008 to oppose the teaching of evolution as fact.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/gradebook/2019/08/08/florida-board-of-education-chairman-takes-beating-over-past-comments-on-evolution/

Please take the civics standards survey

Please check the revise or eliminate benchmark blocks and put a note in the comment section for these standards.

Revise SS.K.CL.1.2 which says “Define a constitution as an agreed-upon set of rules.”
Please put this comment

Revise the standard to read:
Our constitution is the supreme Law of the Land.
Reason: By defining the constitution as a rule rather than a law, you have downgraded the Constitution by calling it just “rules” and not “laws.”
Add this clarification under the benchmark:
Article VI of our Constitution includes these words:
This Constitution … shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby

Revise SS.2.CL.3.2 which says “Identify the United States as a constitutional republic.”
Please put this comment:

Revise the standard to read:
Identify the United States as a democratic constitutional republic.
Add this clarification under the benchmark:
Our democracy depends on citizens being able to freely elect leaders who will represent their interests and on our citizens to be able to easily remove those representatives who abuse their power. The policies that representatives pursue should be dictated by public opinion. Our constitutional republic depends on our representatives making sure the laws they pass adhere to the Constitution including the Bill of Rights which aims to protect the minority from tyranny of the majority.

Revise SS.3.CL.1.2 Describe how the United States government gains its power from the people.
Please put this comment:

Add this clarification under the benchmark:
Our democracy depends on citizens being able to freely elect leaders who will represent their interests and on our citizens to be able to easily remove those representatives who abuse their power. The policies that representatives pursue should be dictated by public opinion. Our constitutional republic depends on our representatives making sure the laws they pass adhere to the Constitution including the Bill of Rights which aims to protect the minority from tyranny of the majority.

Revise SS.4.CL.3.3 which says “Identify the United States as a constitutional republic.”

Revise the standard to read:
Identify the United States as a democratic constitutional republic.
Add this clarification under the benchmark:
Our democracy depends on citizens being able to freely elect leaders who will represent their interests and on our citizens to be able to easily remove those representatives who abuse their power. The policies that representatives pursue should be dictated by public opinion. Our constitutional republic depends on our representatives making sure the laws they pass adhere to the Constitution including the Bill of Rights which aims to protect the minority from tyranny of the majority.

Eliminate SS.7.CL.1.3 which says “Explain the influence of religion (Hebraic and Christian) on America’s founding ideas about law and government.”
Under the comments, write:

If you want to teach religion, then do it in an elective comparative religion course. Otherwise, let parents and the religious institutions they choose explain the meaning of their own religious doctrine and how it is similar to the laws of the United States.

Revise SS.7.CL.2.4 which says “Explain how the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights safeguards and limits individual rights.”
Under the comments, write:

Change the clarification by adding “and arguments against” to “examine rationales for.” The clarification now reads
● Students will examine rationales for government-imposed limitations on individual rights (e.g., forced internment in wartime, limitations on speech rationing during wartime, suspension of habeas corpus).

Revise SS.7.CL.3.1 which reads “Analyze the advantages of the United States constitutional republic over other forms of government in safeguarding liberty, freedom and a representative government.”

It’s important to note that we are a democracy and a republic. I fear that calling our government merely a “constitutional republic” down plays the importance of active citizen involvement.

Revise SS.7.CL.3.10 Analyze the effects of landmark Supreme Court cases on law, liberty and the interpretation of the United States Constitution.

Revise the clarification by substituting “including but not limited to” instead of “e.g.
The clarification now reads:
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).

Revise 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

Revise the benchmark by substituting “the hybrid system of regulated capitalism and some social services run by the government” in place of “capitalism and a free market system

Eliminate SS.912.CL.1.2 Analyze the influence of religion (Hebraic and Christian) on America’s founding ideas about law and government.

If you want to teach religion, then do it in an elective comparative religion course. Otherwise, let parents and the religious institutions they choose explain the meaning of their own religious doctrine and how it is similar to the laws of the United States.

Revise SS.912.CL.2.2 Explain the importance of political and civic participation to the success of the United States constitutional republic.

Revise by changing this clarification from
● Students will describe the ways in which individuals can be denied and limited in their right to practice political and civic participation (e.g., losing voting rights for felony conviction, limitations on political contributions, limits on the type of protesting).
to
● Students will describe the ways in which individuals have be denied or limited in their right to practice political and civic participation (including but not limited to felony conviction and campaign finance laws that favor the wealthy)

Revise SS.912.CL.2.7 Explain how the principles contained in foundational documents contributed to the expansion of civil rights and liberties over time.

Revise by changing this clarification:
● Students will explain how different groups of people (e.g., African Americans, immigrants, Native Americans, women) had their civil rights expanded through legislation action (e.g., Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Act) executive action (e.g., Truman’s desegregation of the army and Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation), and the courts (e.g., Brown v.Board of Education, In re Gault).
to
● Students will explain how different groups of people (e.g., African Americans, immigrants, Native Americans, women) were denied civil rights early in our country’s history but all Americans’ civil rights were made to be equal through constitutional amendments as well as court cases and legislative action.

Revise SS.912.CL.3.14 Analyze the role of federalism in establishing the relationship between the federal and state governments.

Revise by changing this clarification
from
● Students will analyze how states have challenged the federal government regarding states’ rights (e.g., Civil War, the New Deal, No Child Left Behind, Affordable Health Care Act and Civil Rights Movement).
TO
● Students will analyze how states have challenged the federal government regarding states’ rights (e.g. efforts at seceding from the United States by violent means and court cases challenging laws passed by Congress).


The state Board of Education is meeting in Jacksonville on June 10th and the public is invited

On June 10th, 2021 the Florida State Board of Education is meeting in Jacksonville.
Details: http://www.fldoe.org/policy/state-board-of-edu/meetings/

You might want to address this issue during the public comment period at the meeting on June 10th (or by email if you can’t make the meeting):

What does education commissioner Corcoran mean by traditional as compared to factual?

A new rule proposed by education commissioner Richard Corcoran would require Florida teachers to align their civics lessons to a traditional view of American history. The rule would address a concern raised by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who wants to make sure “critical race theory” — an approach to teaching the role of racism in U.S. society — isn’t used in the district run public schools. The measure, which is headed to the State Board of Education on June 10, states that teachers “may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.” The rule also would require teachers not to share their personal views or attempt to indoctrinate students to a point of view that deviates from the state’s newly adopted academic standards.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/education/2021/05/19/what-should-florida-kids-learn-about-us-history-a-rule-is-in-the-works/

WHO drafted these standards: 
http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/18736/urlt/HolocaustEducation.pdf  

Who suggested “benchmark” SS.4.HE.1.2?

SS.4.HE.1.2 Compare the similarities of Judaism to other major religions celebrated around the world, and in the United States and Florida, to see how they are similar and different.

I worry about Christian Nationalists (hashtag NOT ALL Christians) using benchmark SS.4.HE.1.2 to promote their version of Christianity. Older folks remember when some Protestants denigrated the Catholics in public schools. I have no problem with an elective comparative religion studies class but what is the purpose of this benchmark SS.4.HE.1.2 being part of the course required by 1003.42 (2)(g)?

Who suggested the wording of benchmark SS.912.HE.1.3?

SS.912.HE.1.3 Analyze how the Treaty of Versailles led to the increasing spread of antisemitism in Germany … 

Certainly the reparations included in the Treaty of Versailles caused the German workers hardships. The broad statement, in this benchmark SS.912.HE.1.3, that the treaty itself led to anti-Semitism isn’t historically accurate.

Powerful people use scapegoats to fuel tribalism and certainly that should be included in the courses required by Florida statute 1003.42 (2) (g) and (h)

Please ask the board of education if they have the authority to require the courses mentioned in the statutes to be taught not only at the district run schools but also at the voucher funded private schools and the charter schools, i.e. at all publicly funded schools.  I was sad that SB 772 (which aimed to do that) wasn’t even given a hearing in the committee to which it was assigned: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/772

For reference:

Florida statute 1003.42(2) .. 

(g) 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, including the policy, definition, and historical and current examples of anti-Semitism, as described in s. 1000.05(7), and the prevention of anti-Semitism. Each school district must annually certify and provide evidence to the department, in a manner prescribed by the department, that the requirements of this paragraph are met. The department shall prepare and offer standards and curriculum for the instruction required by this paragraph and may seek input from the Commissioner of Education’s Task Force on Holocaust Education or from any state or nationally recognized Holocaust educational organizations. The department may contract with any state or nationally recognized Holocaust educational organizations to develop training for instructional personnel and grade-appropriate classroom resources to support the developed curriculum.
 (h) The history of African Americans, including the history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery, the passage to America, the enslavement experience, abolition, and the contributions of African Americans to society. Instructional materials shall include the contributions of African Americans to American society.

https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2020/1213/BillText/er/PDF includes the following beginning on line 38:

Section 1. The Commissioner of Education’s African  American History Task Force is directed to examine ways in which the history of the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots will be included in instruction on African-American history required pursuant to s. 1003.42(2)(h), Florida Statutes. The task force shall submit its recommendations to the Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education by March 1, 2021.   


The Florida Board of Education is meeting June 10th in Jacksonville

Have you analyzed the new suggested standards?
Standards Under Review – Spring 2021
http://www.fldoe.org/standardsreview/

As this op-ed suggests, teaching kids to think critically is paramount: 
https://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/guest-commentary/os-op-civics-teaching-both-sides-on-race-20210514-773zq567zfckbg3xzoasmuehwa-story.html However, we shouldn’t distort the facts to fit our political agenda.

I am reading a book about Christian nationalists (hashtag NOT All Christians) that mentions a Hillsdale College propaganda flyer about Putin.  Please read it and tell me if you want Hillsdale College to be part of the standard setting process: https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/how-to-think-about-vladimir-putin/ I heard that Hillsdale College was a contributor to the standards. Please ask the board if that is true. I’ve sent a public records request but it went unanswered.

Another troubling issue that you might want to bring up with the Board of Education is Corcoran telling school districts to fire teachers based on his ideology.

Last week, she was led to believe that she had been fired based on a speech by state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. In the speech posted on a YouTube video by Hillsdale College in Michigan, where Corcoran gave the address, he said that “we made sure she was terminated” as part of his effort to keep teachers from “indoctrinating” students with critical race theory, according to news reports. 

https://www.splcenter.org/news/2021/05/21/blm-backlash-nations-racial-reckoning-meets-bitter-resistance-high-school-florida-named

Another issue (the church/state issue) you might want to mention is the importance of publicly funded schools being nonsectarian. As this article indicates, when schools are NOT nonsectarian, the non-majority religion may feel discriminated against. Let religious doctrine be taught at home and in the religious institutions not in publicly funded schools.

Catholic schools began in the United States as a reaction against a growing publicly-funded school system that was essentially Protestant.

https://www.catholicleague.org/anti-catholicism-and-the-history-of-catholic-school-funding/

Here are some of the proposed standards that I found troubling.

SS.7.C.1.12 Recognize how Judeo-Christian values influenced America’s Founding ideals and documents.
● Students will identify Judeo-Christian values (e.g., rule of law, God-given rights, equality of mankind, limited government, separation of powers, consent of the governed) in founding documents.
● Students will recognize the influence of the Protestant work ethic on economic freedom and personal responsibility.
● Students will recognize the influence of the Ten Commandments on establishing the rule of law in America.
SS.7.C.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.
SS.912.C.1.5 Analyze the influence of Judeo-Christian values on America’s Founding ideals and documents.
• Students will recognize Judeo-Christian principles of law and government in primary sources (e.g., rule of law, God-given rights, equality of mankind, limited government, separation of powers, consent of the governed) in primary sources to including but not limited to, the Articles, Lawes and Orders, Divine, Politique and Martiall for the Colony in Virginea (1610-1611); Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639); Massachusetts Body of Liberties (1641); Constitution of Massachusetts (1780)).
SS.912.C.4.1  Analyze the advantages of the United States constitutional republic and free market economic system over authoritarianism (e.g., autocratic or oligarchic) and government-controlled economic systems (e.g., socialism and communism).

Part of the problem is church/state separation issues as I mentioned above. Another issue is not distinguishing between regulated capitalism and crony capitalism. The standard that reads “advantages of capitalism over socialism” has the logical fallacy of a false dichotomy.


The Florida Board of Education is meeting June 10th at 9 am
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Advanced Technology Center
401 West State Street,
Room T140/141
Jacksonville, FL 32202

These are the board members:
Chair, Andy Tuck – Andy.Tuck@fldoe.org
Vice Chair, Marva Johnson – Marva.Johnson@fldoe.org
Monesia Brown – Monesia.Brown@fldoe.org
Ben Gibson – Ben.Gibson@fldoe.org
Tom Grady – Tom.Grady@fldoe.org
Ryan Petty – Ryan.Petty@fldoe.org
Joe York – Joe.York@fldoe.org

The Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran can be contacted:
Karen Dennis Phone: 850-245-0505
Email: Commissioner@fldoe.orgEDIT

Should a gun be required on every K-12 campus? And if yes, carried by whom?

My question for the reasonable reader: Should there be a gun on campus?

  • If you answer yes and a school safety officer shoots someone, will you feel culpable?
  • If you answer no and someone else shoots someone, will you wonder if the armed school safety officer could have stopped it?

Do you agree that people who don’t vote don’t have a right to complain? But how much is required of citizens after we’ve voted? Do we need to keep an eye on what our elected officials are doing?

The state legislators passed a bill that says that there must be a gun on all K-12 public school campuses. It’s 2018 SB 7026. How do you feel about that? Do you see the difference between these two different position statements?
1. Oppose any effort to arm teachers, or anyone who is not a law enforcement officer.
2. Oppose the arming of teachers in public schools.

The difference is that #2 allows for school safety officers (in addition to police officers) to carry a gun on campus. There are rules in place for training these school safety officers. The school district is required to have a gun on campus by state legislators. They have basically three choices as to who can carry that gun
1. A teacher
2. A dedicated school safety officer
3. A police officer

Quote from bill analysis of SB 7026:
[The school safety officer] may carry concealed, approved firearms on campus. Only concealed carry safety holsters and firearms approved by the sheriff may be used under the program. … A school safety officer has the authority to carry weapons when performing his or her official duties.

The Duval school district was sued because they chose to satisfy the state law by arming school safety officers instead of police officers. The school district won the suit. I assume the plaintiffs didn’t want to remain silent. They didn’t want to feel culpable if a school safety officer shot someone. Their conscious is clear?
Link to article about it:
https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/courts/2021/02/19/court-rejects-jacksonville-challenge-armed-school-guardians/4504650001/

School district superintendents walk a thin line. We may or may not learn more later, but for now here’s what we seem to know:

The schools superintendent in Broward County, Fla. had spent years battling accusations tied to his leadership before and after the Parkland school shooting — and the indictment, he claimed, was simply another politically motivated attack tied to the massacre. As parents and officials continue to point fingers over the failures that preceded the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a wide-ranging grand jury investigation has been tasked with probing “possible failures in following school-related safety laws and moving funds solicited for school safety initiatives to other areas of need,” according to Florida state officials.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/04/28/florida-broward-parkland-runcie-resigns/

References

Link to bill 2018 SB 7026:
https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2018/7026

Excerpt from Florida statute 1006.12
Safe-school officers at each public school.—For the protection and safety of school personnel, property, students, and visitors, each district school board and school district superintendent shall partner with law enforcement agencies or security agencies to establish or assign one or more safe-school officers at each school facility within the district, including charter schools. … A school safety officer has the authority to carry weapons when performing his or her official duties.

1006.12 says each school must have one or more safe-school officers but they can be
(1) SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER
(2) SCHOOL SAFETY OFFICER
(3) SCHOOL GUARDIAN.
(4) SCHOOL SECURITY GUARD

I think (1) and (2) are both law enforcement officers.
(3) is defined below and I think Duval is doing (3) (b) ONLY and not (3)(a).

Detailed explanation (3) SCHOOL GUARDIAN:

At the school district’s or the charter school governing board’s discretion, as applicable, pursuant to s. 30.15, a school district or charter school governing board may participate in the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program to meet the requirement of establishing a safe-school officer. The following individuals may serve as a school guardian, in support of school-sanctioned activities for purposes of s. 790.115, upon satisfactory completion of the requirements under s. 30.15(1)(k) and certification by a sheriff:(a) A school district employee or personnel, as defined under s. 1012.01, or a charter school employee, as provided under s. 1002.33(12)
(a), who volunteers to serve as a school guardian in addition to his or her official job duties; or
(b) An employee of a school district or a charter school who is hired for the specific purpose of serving as a school guardian.

My understanding is the school district got more money if they agreed to participate in the school guardian program. This article says not every county is participating in the guardian program:
http://www.fldoe.org/safe-schools/guardian-program.stml

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:
https://www.redefinedonline.org/2017/07/lincoln-middle/

  • 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:
https://thebradentontimes.com/clients/thebradentontimes/Ken_aff.pdf

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.

https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/education/2019-09-29/manatee-charter-school-contract-terminated-for-gross-financial-mismanagement

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,

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A9d2c021e-0740-4f97-8021-8b3df7d0c5c0&fbclid=IwAR0vxktj4B03R6A_0zV_3JQHv5MhEw24vIUjDt0ubnu9Mf3ualmVAc7uES8#pageNum=10

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 :
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/STATUTES/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0200-0299/0212/Sections/0212.055.html

Excerpts from 212.055 (6):
(6) SCHOOL CAPITAL OUTLAY SURTAX.—
[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).

Amy Coney Barrett and the consequences

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. 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. 

Originalists want to do this despite the Constitution’s preamble, which states that one of its basic purposes is to “promote the general welfare.”

 
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 fundatmental 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 state 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. Luckily the Supreme Court (without her) ruled to allow citizens in states that don’t have exchanges to still qualify for the ACA subsidies.


Also in the interview, she claims that trans people aren’t the gender they identify as. She uses the term “physiologically a boy.” Barrett’s unscientific view of gender will hurt real people. Scientific research (specifically through genetics, neurobiology and endocrinology) helps us understand the transgender experience. I wish the Republicans in the Senate had not confirmed her nomination. I fear that she has no empathy for real people.

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 of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly on the number and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of reproductive health. (Ref 9)


There was a time when the Supreme Court ruled that legislators couldn’t pass laws to protect workers. (Ref 5) Will this new Court take us back to the Lochner era? Will the American people hold the senators responsible who confirmed Barrett if Barrett and Thomas and Alito prove to be extremists out of step with most Americans?  (Ref 6)


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 wrote, quoting a phrase from another 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)  


Why didn’t Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute invite someone that would be willing to challenge Barrett’s extremist views?  Regarding this article:https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2020/10/27/amy-coney-barretts-2016-lecture-jacksonville-logs-740-000-hits/6035510002/

Barrett is full of malarkey. Around minute 36 (ref 2) 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 fundatmental right to health care, but instead starts rambling about the death penalty and abortion. Later in the video, she says the Supreme Court wrongly decided that the state 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. 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, she claims that trans people aren’t the gender they identify as. She uses the term “physiologically a boy.” 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)

 references
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. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lochner_v._New_York#Judgment
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

City Council needs to pass an ordinance requiring a nose/mouth covering

The city council needs to pass an ordinance requiring a nose/mouth covering when entering any enclosed place open to the public similar to what President Trump required of the West Wing White House staff in May after some of the staff tested positive for Covid-19.

The ordinance would make the word “should” mean “must” when it comes to the CDC guidelines for Jacksonville regarding face masks. People are interpreting “should” to mean “not required.” Strong people should care about their neighbors.
CDC guidelines:

  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

“We continue to caution that reducing the likelihood of additional outbreaks will require individuals and business owners to be vigilant with personal protection, wearing masks and practicing proper hygiene, and instituting strong workplace safety measures,” Dr. David Rubin, director of PolicyLab at CHOP and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, said.

Health professionals, including Dr. Larry Feinman, chief medical officer for 18 HCA hospitals in west Florida, pushed for a mask requirement. Feinman said he is more “terrified” to walk through a Publix grocery store than through any of the 15 COVID-19 units in the chain’s hospitals.

“I’m begging you to mandate masking,” Feinmann said. “It is effective.”

Dr. Ulyee Choe, director of the Florida Department of Health, said recent studies are “showing the masks are effective” in fighting the virus.

Most people (even Mayor Curry) now agree that if everyone wears a mask in public buildings, then the spread of the novel coronavirus will be lowered.

What about this compromise?

Ask the city council to pass an ordinance requiring masks (until a safe and effective vaccine is available) while inside an enclosed building open to the public with the below caveat.

The following establishments could be exempted if they agree to post the following warning at all entrances

“Covid-19 can cause hospitalization and death. It is highly contagious. The CDC has advised that if everyone would wear a mask, then the risk of contracting Covid-19 would be reduced. We do *not* require masks so enter at your own risk. We assume no liability if you contract Covid-19 from being exposed to the virus in our building.”

These types of businesses can be exempt from mandatory masks if they’ll post the sign in huge letters at every entry point:

Restaurants, Bars, Churches, Political Rallies, Concerts, Theaters

Under this compromise, the people who don’t feel they are vulnerable to a severe case can go to restaurants, etc. And those of us who fear having a severe reaction if exposed to the virus can go to grocery stores being assured that everyone will be wearing a mask.

It seems like a great compromise, yes?

Link to article about West Wing requirements in May:https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/vaping/news/20200619/masks-no-longer-required-in-west-wing
Link to article with David Rubin quote:https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-florida-next-epicenter-pandemic/
Link to article with Doctors Feinmann and Choe quotes:
https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2020/06/18/pinellas-county-inches-closer-to-requiring-face-masks/

Link to CDC : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

Please use the term “publicly funded schools” not “public schools” and then add a descriptive adjective such as charter, private, neighborhood, magnet, district-run, or all

It isn’t always clear what legislators mean by “public schools” now that they are funding charter schools and private schools with taxpayer dollars.

Legislators need to contemplate why ALL publicly funded schools aren’t included when the legislature makes rules for the district-run schools. If the rules aren’t necessary, then why make the district-run schools follow them? If the rules are necessary, then ALL schools that receive taxpayer dollars should be required to follow them.  People throw around the terms “choice” and “public” when they are talking about schools. But what do they mean? Legislators need to use the term “publicly funded school” not “public school” so it’s clear what they are talking about.

I wish we’d all want all the publicly funded neighborhood schools to be great. I wish we’d fund each one so they would have adequate staff to serve the community, employ tutors, offer vocational, music, art, debate, lots of choices within the publicly funded neighborhood school.

The majority of the taxpayers should also have a choice about how our tax money (public funds) is being spent. We don’t want our public money funding schools that discriminate or refuse to teach skills that help us to get along with each other.

Last year’s bill HB 463 (implicit bias training) should have been changed so it applied to all publicly funded schools.

There is a reason for Article 1 Section 3 of the Florida Constitution

Religious freedom.—There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof. Religious freedom shall not justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace or safety. No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.

The below was posted in a previous year so these bills aren’t 2021 bill numbers:
Did Kimberly Daniels want her bible study class to be a required elective in all publicly funded schools? My guess is no. Publicly funded schools aren’t the place to teach religion. There is a reason for Article 1 Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. Hopefully her bill will die before reaching the full House.

The sponsor of the bill needs to suggest this amendment to HB 463:

***Each charter school governing board shall require charter school instructional personnel to take the training specified at 943.1716 and 1000.05.

***Any private school receiving taxpayer dollars must require members of its instructional personnel to take the training specified at 943.1716 and 1000.05.

Summary of HB 463 which amends 943.1716 and 1000.05:

Implicit Bias Training: Requires Criminal Justice Standards & Training Commission to include implicit bias training in instruction dealing with diverse populations; requires SBE to develop requirements for training for all K-12 instructional personnel & administrators in recognizing & overcoming implicit bias; requesting Supreme Court develop training requirements for judges on implicit bias.

2020 SB 184 and SB 56 aim to make non-discrimination laws apply to all publicly funded schools.

2020 SB 154 (Human trafficking) and HB 463 (implicit bias training) need to be changed so they apply to all publicly funded schools.

I spoke about SB 184, SB 56, and SB 154 when I spoke to the Duval Legislative Delegation. I had not yet read HB 463 at that time. Here is the link to my two minutes:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDSB9ICU7hI

Here is the link to my two minutes when I spoke during the public comment period at the FLDOE meeting making a similar point:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwZUQZdx5SM

HB 463 is an important bill. The Nickel Boys by Colton Whitehead was based on a true story.  It should make all of us wonder how to prevent the cruel incidents (on which the story was based) from happening again.

A quote from an interview that Colette Bancroft had with the author of The Nickel Boys :

In 2014, they were exhuming the grave sites in Tallahassee, Florida. … When I found Ben Montgomery’s reporting, it was the summer of Ferguson, of Michael Brown being shot, of Eric Garner being killed in Staten Island. It was the same indifference to black lives, to the poor, to people with no power who cannot defend themselves. … That kind of brutality occurs whenever powerless children are failed by the system that’s supposed to protect them.

Link to article: https://www.tampabay.com/books/colson-whiteheads-novel-the-nickel-boys-draws-power-from-a-real-florida-story-20190718/

Link to article about the incident on which the novel was based:   https://www.tampabay.com/investigations/2019/08/18/they-went-to-the-dozier-school-for-boys-damaged-they-came-out-destroyed/  

Any school receiving taxpayer dollars needs to follow at least some of the same rules that the publicly funded neighborhood schools must follow. They certainly should have to follow the rules mentioned in SB 184, SB 56, SB 154 and HB 463.