Republican attack on public schools

Opposition grows over Darrell Allison's appointment at FSU

The UNC BOG has stepped in it again:

“The majority consensus is we need to fight this,” he said. Frink said that he had heard that Allison might be a candidate for the FSU position shortly after Allison resigned from the Board of Governors. Frink said he saw that Allison had little experience that would qualify him to be chancellor. “I never thought he’d have a serious look,” Frink said. “It just caught a lot of people by surprise.”

Allison was a member of the Board of Governors until September when he stepped down to pursue the position at FSU. The Board of Governors, which oversees 17 institutions in the UNC system, approved Allison’s appointment as chancellor of FSU on Feb. 18. The job comes with a $285,000-a-year salary and the use of a car and residence.

Allison has been a major proponent of the privatization of NC schools, so it's more than a little ironic the state is now giving him a car, a house, and over a quarter of a million yearly salary. It appears this battle has just begun:

Wake County Schools have growing Coronavirus issues

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Extending the Xmas break until January 15 may not be enough:

The district has reported 432 cases since Oct. 26, when the first students began returning for in-person instruction. Since Oct. 29, Wake has reported 244 cases among staff and 183 among students.

Friday is the last day of classes before Wake County students go on winter break. Difficulty finding substitute teachers and the fear of a post-Christmas COVID-19 spike caused the Wake school board to vote Tuesday to suspend in-person instruction for all schools from Jan. 4-15.

Just to be clear, "finding substitute teachers" is not the problem you should be concerned with, it's the needing so many that should keep you up at night. And the hundreds (thousands?) of other staff members who are going to work either terrified or greatly concerned about their exposure. And this is starting to sound arrogant:

NC private and charter schools rake in millions in COVID 19 relief loans

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I don't think that word "struggle" means what they think it does:

A year’s tuition at Asheville School is more than $60,000 for live-in students, $35,000 for day students. In the last fiscal quarter, the school’s endowment was $43 million.

Yet the school’s leader said COVID-19 tested Asheville School finances in unique ways, making the $1.7 million it collected in federal pandemic relief necessary.

It's a simple fact, the wealthy live in a different world than the rest of us. And their world is more important to the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans than our world is. And of course Art Pope's education puppet Terry Stoops tries to rationalize this unnecessary funding:

Betsy DeVos is funneling virus relief to private and religious schools

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Kakistocracy is as Kakistocracy does:

Ms. DeVos has used $180 million of those dollars to encourage states to create “microgrants” that parents of elementary and secondary school students can use to pay for educational services, including private school tuition. She has directed school districts to share millions of dollars designated for low-income students with wealthy private schools.

And she has nearly depleted the 2.5 percent of higher education funding, about $350 million, set aside for struggling colleges to bolster small colleges — many of them private, religious or on the margins of higher education — regardless of need.

Keep in mind, DeVos is doing this at the same time that state and local revenues are falling precipitously. Funding for public schools is going to be cut, if it hasn't already, but people like Betsy DeVos don't really care about the vast majority of schools and their students. She's grabbing every dollar she can for any school but those public institutions, because destroying them was her goal from the very beginning. But a lot of responsible folks are pushing back:

Ralph Hise is pushing major expansion of private school vouchers

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Sucking $146 Million in lifeblood from public schools:

AN ACT TO CHANGE THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR THE OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIP GRANT FUND PROGRAM TO ALLOW ANY STUDENT ELIGIBLE TO ATTEND A NORTH CAROLINA PUBLIC SCHOOL TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR A SCHOLARSHIP GRANT AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR THE EXPANSION OF THE PROGRAM.

This is actually Stage 3 of the scheme. Stage 1 was getting the voucher program passed by focusing on poor kids, Stage 2 was adding an additional $10 Million per year even though it was not needed, and now Stage 3 will funnel tax revenues to rich families, so they can segregate their little darlings in posh corporate creches. And you can expect Dan Forest to be leg-humping this bill very soon:

NC Senate bill would place huge burden on educators

Here, put this puzzle together while you're treading water:

A bill filed in the North Carolina Senate today would give school districts until June 30 to come up with a plan for how they’ll ensure remote instruction results in the same learning growth as teaching that occurs at school. It’s hard to articulate how out of touch with reality that expectation is.

North Carolina’s educators are doing the best we can to teach our students in the midst of a global pandemic. As time passes we will continue to find ways to make remote teaching and learning more effective. However, what we’re already seeing is there are an untold number of factors that we have absolutely no control over.

No doubt this bright idea came from the very same people who would do away with every single government regulation that deals with private businesses. It's not unlike what they did to NC DENR (now DEQ) several years ago, when they cut staff deeply, and then told them an "economic impact study" would need to be completed before any new rule was promulgated. Back to Justin:

Mark Johnson directs his election-loss frustration at Board of Education

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Compared to his IPad and IStation spending, this contract is minuscule:

A day after finishing a distant third in a bid to become the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, state schools Superintendent Mark Johnson took a jab at State Board of Education (SBE) colleagues over a contract he contends was improperly administered.

The contract in question Wednesday is between the SBE and Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). It amounts to more than $30,000 for a study of the state’s accountability system, including the controversial A-F letter grading used to rate North Carolina’s schools.

While this contract was $5,000 more than what is authorized for a no-bid, he's actually angry they are planning to limit his purchases to $500,000. That's a hundred times more than they spent over their limit, and I ain't using Common Core math to get that. Zero perspective, unchecked privilege. There is literally no place in NC government where it would be "safe" for Mark Johnson to occupy.

Missing vaccinations: The canary in the rural health care coal mine

This is a systemic failure, not a religious backlash:

Pitt County Schools was forced to suspend a number of students who did not receive vaccines after sending warnings to about 300 as a deadline approached last month, officials said.

State law requires students have standard vaccinations in place 30 days after enrollment unless they have a religious exemption. If students do not have the vaccines, they are suspended until they receive them. The number of suspended students was not available at the meeting. The school system did not respond to subsequent requests to provide the information.

Pitt County is actually in better shape coverage-wise than other regional counties, but when you get outside of Greenville, it doesn't seem that way. The lack of vaccinations signals another troubling issue: A lot of the children are not receiving periodic well-care treatment, and that is unsettling, to say the least:

Major charter school organization leaves 17 NC schools in the lurch

Oregon sugar daddy has apparently turned sour:

An organization that helped set up charter schools in North Carolina and Arizona has lost several of its leaders and cut back on its work, leading two N.C. schools to drop the organization’s services. Now, those schools — which represent about 11,000 students — are wondering what to do next.

The turnover at TeamCFA has created uncertainty around the Charlotte-based nonprofit that provides financial, instructional and management support to 17 charter schools in North Carolina and four schools in Arizona.

I first came a cross John Bryan's name a few years ago during a routine exploration of high-dollar campaign contributions to Republican politicians here in NC, and soon stumbled across the reasons why he had contributed so much. But like many billionaires do, he has apparently lost interest in the cause:

Mark Johnson is in constant Campaign mode

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Abusing the office so he can stay in office:

"I purchase lots of bookmarks. I get free bookmarks from book companies," Burton said. "I don’t need any more bookmarks." But that wasn’t the only thing the Department of Public Instruction sent. Since last year, there have been flyers with Johnson’s picture on them designed to go home with students, posters to go in hallways where he’s posing in with two sheriffs, and emails. Lots and lots of emails.

"We’re getting constant emails from him – email blasts from him," Burton said. "And we never received all that information from Dr. Atkinson before."

It's like Johnson is trying to show his mom how far he can ride his bike with no hands. As if teachers might forget who he is if he doesn't remind them every single day:

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