Saturday, April 27

Two Referendums and Now Layoffs From DCPS?

I voted for the referendum to finally rebuild, maintain, or upgrade schools. It passed, but I won't see the upgrades before my kids graduate because I'm-not-sure. I voted against a teacher pay and arts funding referendum because I didn't understand from the description how it would benefit my kids. It passed, but I still had to send in a check for art materials. As a community, we've added higher sales taxes and property taxes to benefit our schools, but now the district is set to lay off hundreds of staff amid a teacher shortage, and with the lackluster results of the other two referendums, I don't see the taxpayers wanting to step in.

Part of the problem with the school upgrades was the requirement to harden the schools' security before construction of new facilities, so schools spent resources adding bars and cages and cameras before even starting classrooms. Then prices went up, I guess. Maybe contractors got greedy or it's just inflation, but we will be getting less than we've been promised. Less than we're paying for. On top of it all, charter schools use their slice of the money to pay rent to themselves and enrich their owners.

The arts and pay referendum cost all of us on our property taxes or rent increases, but art teachers are often the first to get laid off, so I'm not sure how that will play out. I don't even know which teachers were getting the pay increases or if that was necessary to retain talent. I bet most teachers just want to keep their jobs right now. I've been there.

It sounds like the district is blaming school choice for all its woes, but it also added that Covid funding had disappeared. Add in charter schools that steal students and budgeted funds, and Duval Schools are in trouble. We're talking way beyond "Save-Atlantic-Beach-Elementary" trouble. Again, I've seen it before, and this doesn't end well, folks. The district was relying on funds it didn't really have (COVID, pre-inflation construction, students who later enrolled in choice schools). And now, we'll have to increase class sizes, fire teachers, close schools, and basically enter into panic mode unless the far-right state legislature steps in to save a school district in a city run by a Democrat mayor, so that's not going to happen. If you enjoy watching the proverbial train wreck, get ready for a show.

Lots of $100,000 consulting fees will be paid in the near future that might save $120,000 in electrical costs over the next five years or might encourage dinosaur teachers to retire early to get their pay off the books, but it won't be enough. Unlike JEA, which was pretty much fine, DCPS is right in the middle of a death spiral. The new superintendent may as well be one of those CEOs companies hire to restructure before declaring bankruptcy. There will be a lot of finger-pointing and blaming, but it'll be silly and useless. This was the goal of the legislature all along. 

When I faced similar challenges in my school district as a teacher, I was the only teacher who floated taking a pay cut for all of us in order to save jobs (and my salary sucked). The union and the teachers will do a lot of screaming and yelling before this is over, but it's really already over. Before it gets too far, maybe we need to shut it all down and start over from scratch as an all-charter school system. Or a dozen smaller school districts. Or all K-12 schools. I don't know. Get some consultants. 

Contact Brian


Email *

Message *

Pennies From Heaven AKA Welfare for Writers

The reason why we have ads on this site is because that's one way writers make money online. Your presence on this site right now might make a penny for our family. Clicking on an ad might get us closer to $.50. Buying something online as a result of clicking on a link can make us a few dollars. We will not get rich from this money, but every penny helps out. Every like or share or re-post or follow. Please, make a donation to our family by clicking.

JAX Weather


Jacksonville jax money Florida crime housing activities vehicles economic development school home news transportation planning police Duval website design kids politics traffic research TV neighbor reviews sports taxes parks statistics East Arlington writing history environment St. Johns roads travel water employment fun men previous owner rankings Arlington weather women beach review business church jaguars pollution dating fashion football guns hurricane library race tourism fatalities health care zoning baseball music JEA Mayport restaurant summer animals games military unf Lyft St. Augustine education flooding pets spanish AC Halloween farms film french hockey noise ocean po radio Duval County Fletcher high school armada cats christmas controversy debate decision fall fort caroline style superhero 2021 AAA Roadside Assistance Advice Blowhard Cambridge AICE County Sheriffs Duval County Public Schools Easter FDOT FL Google Gyros Haretna Hilton Honors James jaeger Kernan Boulevard Lutheran Milano's Ocala Pressers SEO St. Johns County Starbucks T-shirts Tim Tebow VW acting ad of the week addiction again all balls arts asked avoid behavior belief best bi-polar boo celebration chances chump colleges column common comparison consequences councilmembers credit card cuisine difficult to use don't work doors driving games entertainment experience expression faith finding food frustration future gambling gaming gas station grass hack handles high school exchange homes housing market humor illegal traffic stops impact importance improve indians informed infrastructure insightful issue. killing language last chance light boat parade lights local dating scene lottery love made mascot meaning mental health merchandise mistakes mood swings no U-turn sign no brains notebooks opening opinion origins ownership party paying for hotels personal opinion pet ownership pitbull play players pooper popular pound sand program protect real estate reason reform religion request revenue rewards program rights road trip save school identity school pride school spirit service simple sketchy slang someone state struggle support system take down taste teachers thank you timucuan traffic laws traffic stop universities unpredictability usage vehicle pet peeves welcome workplace