The Reinvention of the Public School System:
[America's education system]…was hopelessly antiquated and crippled by union work rules. Until the teachers' unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform. Teachers should be treated as professionals, he said, not assembly line workers. Principals should be able to hire and fire them based on how good they are. Schools should be staying open until at least six p.m. and be in session eleven months of the year. It was absurd, he added, that American classrooms were still based on teachers standing at a board and using textbooks. All books, learning materials, and assessments should be digital and interactive, tailored to each student and providing feedback in real time.
— Steve Jobs
(A recount of a private meeting between Apple Computer Founder and President Barack Obama)
Public Education is not Mandated in the U.S. Constitution:
The Framers of the U.S. Constitution were wise men of great vision and understood priorities for the new nation must involve articulating a document with a list of limits to be placed upon the government once free men ordained it. Had the Framers of the U.S. Constitution or the Articles of Confederation believed that publicly funded education was instrumental to the well being of a free society it would have been included it in one the Articles of either document. The thought of coercing states with executive decrees at the whim of a president must have appeared to the framers as a tyrannical power bestowed to a King.
FLORIDA'S GOVERNING SCHOOL ACT MUST SPREAD NATIONWIDE
The reinvention of the district-run public school system begins with amending Florida’s Parent Empowerment Law §1002.33 (3b). The Sunshine State is the only state in the union to pass legislation allowing parents to call for a vote in an intra-school election within ninety days to determine who will administer a district operated school. In essence, this is the financial takeover of the administration of a public school. The statute states: any combination of two parents, two teachers, two Educational Excellence School Advisory Council (ESSAC) members, or combination thereof, without the consent of County School Board of Commissioners, can demand an inter-school vote. This election will determine who will have exclusive authority for administering the finances of a particular District-operated school going forward.
The Parent Empowerment Law was originally signed into law without rules through promulgation by Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles in 1996. This means that the law sat on the books without rules and regulations implementing it. There it lied dormant without voting guidelines or rules for transparent election procedures, or for open dialogue debates on campus to discuss the merits of conversion. In 2010, under Governor Charlie Crist’s Department of Education, biased rules were set in place slanted towards School District control over the election outcome. These voting rules were designed to undermine the ability of parents to win elections. The law requires that the Parent Proponents of a YES vote to establish a Parent-Guardianship Board must win two elections by a 50% +1 margin, with parents and teachers voting with separate ballots.
The majority of teachers and parent families must cast a ballot during the five-day election week for the election to be valid. Each family with a child in the school gets one vote, regardless of how many of its children attend the school. Rather than “one parent one vote,” only the “residential parent” registered at the school receives a single ballot.
Since Parents are motivated solely in the best interest of their children and Teachers vote solely in their union’s best interest, it is obvious that voting to put parents in charge of hiring and firing of is not likely. This election protocol gives Teachers veto power over Parents who desire a conversion to a Parental Guardianship school. In summation, when put into practice this law is a Teacher’s empowerment law, not a Parent empowerment law.
If the ‘YES’ vote prevails funding for the converted school is received directly from the general fund of the Florida Department of Education, which is wired to the dedicated account of the converted school through County School District bank accounts (this is for accountability purposes only).
Unfortunately, the un-American voting law also subjects the children of Parent Proponents to abuse in class by teachers. Outside of class, the children are subject to intimidation by administrators, principals, PTAs (Parent Teachers’ Associations), as well as opposing parents. Absent real rules protecting Parent Proponents and their children, Superintendents and their School District intimidators will likely discourage parents from supporting the conversion initiative.
The present law allows for trampling of basic civil liberties such as open debate in the public square on school grounds, free dissemination of campaign literature, and authority over ballot language and student body mailing lists.
The mainstream press is another obstacle. As a general rule, local media is financially dependent on County school district advertising and support. Likewise, the Democratic Party’s political entrenchment in support for the National Education Association, makes the odds of conversion insurmountable, without the amendments TheFiscals are proposing.
We TheFiscals also suggest the removal of the word “Charter" from the Parent Empowerment Law as to not confuse it with the conventional “for-profit” and “not-for-profit” school models. Both models require an investor leasing space or a real estate developer building a new school facility on private land. In both cases parents that possess an “approved Charter” from the County School District must engage in a lease agreement with a landlord. The mere reference to "Charter" implies privatization and profit, that leads to immediate objections and rebuttals by parents at failing district run schools. These are major objections that appear as pre-established narratives which discourage change. Many parents reflexively prefer the status quo out of fear of change.
All of the above negative connotations are contrary to the spirit of the law. As Parents are the sole stakeholders as taxpayers, they should be the only ones to vote. Teachers are employees that come and go at the behest of the their employer, the Superintendent who is free to intimidate teachers to automatically vote against Parents. This disqualifies them as biased voters, especially if the consensus of Parents agrees that the teachers are the problem at the school. The biased Teacher's No vote wins the election as it vetoes the Parents "Yes vote."
Imagine the acrimony on campus when teachers veto the parents' decision to convert to parental guardianship? It is certainly not a positive learning environment.
The following is a proposed conversion charter school amendment which would revise the existing law in Florida. The underlined language denotes the text of new language that TheFiscals are advocating:
(3) APPLICATION FOR PARENT GUARDIANSHIP SCHOOL STATUS.—
(a) An application for a new Parent Guardianship School may be made by an individual, teachers, parents, a group of individuals, a municipality, or a legal entity organized under the laws of this state. (b) An application for a conversion charter school shall be made by the district school board, the principal, teachers, parents, and/or the school advisory council at an existing public school that has been in operation for at least 2 years prior to the application to convert. A public school-within-a-school that is designated as a school by the district school board may also submit an application to convert to charter status. An application submitted proposing to convert an existing public school to a charter school shall demonstrate the support of at least
50 percent of the teachers employed at the school and 50 percent of the parents voting whose children are enrolled at the school, provided that a majority of the parents eligible to vote participate in the ballot process, according to rules adopted by the State Board of Education. The vote for conversion shall be required to be completed within ninety (90) days from the date the school administrator receives the written request for a vote. The local school district shall be required to make certain mandatory disclosures once a school administrator receives the written request to conduct a vote. Within seven (7) days of receipt of the written request, the local school district shall provide to the person requesting the vote the following items (1) a detailed budget showing all expenses and all state and federal revenues generated over the previous three years for the particular district-operated school for which a vote for conversion has been requested, and (2) a list containing the public mailing address of each household with child enrolled at the school at that time. At least fourteen (14) days prior to the commencement of any vote, the local school district shall permit the person or persons requesting the vote to utilize the school cafeteria or other indoor equivalent facility, at the school that is the subject of the vote, to hold a meeting at a reasonable time to provide information to the parents in support of the vote. The person or persons who requested the vote shall be entitled to organize and lead the meeting and to provide on the premises where the meeting will be held written educational material to the parents who attend the meeting. The person or persons who requested the vote shall be entitled to have a designee assigned to work with the school administrator to confirm that the initial notification has been mailed to all eligible voters and that all ballots have been mailed to the eligible voters and to be present at the time of balloting in order to confirm the voters eligibility and witnessing the voters casting the ballot. The person or persons who requested the vote shall be entitled to draft the content of the initial notification to the parents, describing the purpose of the vote and the conditions for the balloting process as well as the content of the ballot itself. A district school board denying an application for a conversion charter school shall provide notice of denial to the applicants in writing within 10 days after the meeting at which the district school board denied the application. The notice must articulate in writing the specific reasons for denial and must provide documentation supporting those reasons. A private school, parochial school, or home education program shall not be eligible for charter school status.
Benefits of Parents Saving Budget Surpluses
A victory on election day replaces the County School District Administration with a Parental Board as Guardians in charge of the individual school's budget. With a momentous decision to convert, the Parent Guardianship Board (“PGB”) may save budget surpluses annually. These savings can be accumulated to redevelop or expand the school campus without having to wait for the allocation of ballot-based school bond proceeds, if any, to your dilapidated and/or overcrowded school. As more school transition to PGB modeled schools, billion dollar school bonds in the larger school districts will not be necessary. This will relieve the tax burden upon all property owners (both commercial and residential) to pay bond debt. These countywide school bond ballot initiatives, appear on the ballot every twenty-five years when the prior bond is due. These initiatives are almost guaranteed to pass as renters make up the majority of voters, yet aren’t obligated to pay the additional tax assessment.
The Florida Parent Empowerment Law as written gives the Teachers Union more authority to maintain failing schools and posses an additional obstruction to repairing dilapidated, overcrowded conditions. It also allows the School District to continue to siphon surpluses from high property taxed neighborhoods without repercussions. At the same time, inner-city schools are never renovated, improved nor receive advanced teaching technologies.
The United States will not survive another century as the nation of self-reliance with another twenty years of academic failure of the vast majority of its citizens. If conservatives as guardians do not take back the public school system from the statist centralized socialists who operate them today, the nation will perish intellectually.
County administered bureaucracies are destined to expand as their employees look for retirement security not perfecting of their teaching craft. The maligned culture that exists in Public school system resembles Marxist societies more than a free market capitalist nation. What is consistent with these statist-minded cultures are the unanswerable grievances which will lead to the continued path of unskilled labor and intellectually bankrupt youth that has decimated American literacy since the 1950s. Most parents do not see that socialized schools in America have failed them for over a century. A public school system that ranks 27th amongst industrialized nations is a pretty miserable outcome for the United States.
If you are a parent who still thinks the public school system can continue to be modernized and expanded through real-estate taxes without compromising many other vital public services you are the problem. Sit back and watch the United States remain as a sub-par educational system. It will fall into third world status once the Hispanic population becomes the majority segment of the population without proficiency in English. The funding dynamic where real estate taxes collected by the largest counties are redistributed by state government to poorer counties within the state is flawed.
This funding dynamic must be reinvented by new parental authority over the administration of school funding. County school boards should not have this monopoly power over education spending. The states’ mismanagement of school taxes obligates County School Districts to burden property owners with additional public bond debt locally. It therefore cannot be reformed state by state, county by county, school by school. The continued use of the word “reform” by politicians and education advocates only means the pillage of the property taxpayer. If you remain indifferent to changing the status quo, you are contributing to the intellectual genocide of America's youth. The old-fashioned "back office" of county school district administration continues to grow its bureaucracy in every county without any evidence of efficiencies or a more educated populous. The excuse for its failure due to overcrowding, rapid population growth within urban centers, or lack of funding is baseless.
The political power of school teacher unions aligned with elected School Boards has developed with contradictory interests and subsets of motivations, none of which benefit young students’ intellectual development nor resourcefulness or problem solving techniques to keep your job. This is institutional malaise of the highest order which cannot be reformed. The funding mechanism by Federal mandates on curriculums to state departments of education and county school district ballot initiatives to increase real estate taxes to contribute to public schooling has failed the student and must end. The human expansion of the bureaucracy, its payroll and its retirement benefits leaves little financial resources for facilities modernization or for expansion. The stopgap measure for this mismanagement nationwide has been continuous school bond initiatives at the expense of the community’s vitality. When the public school fails the neighborhood fails and thus property values plummet and urban blight follows.
In the parallel universe of child empowerment, parents of both political parties should be supporting the reinvention of the public schools. Instead, the National Education Association and its surrogates at the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) and different teachers labor unions of various stripes and gripes have sabotaged parental activism on this matter. These close associations are indifferent to the total reinvention of the public school system. For them everything is fine.
To be more specific of the schism that exists the National PTA bylaws include language in Purpose Clause D that pronounces the desire to bring the "home life closer to school life." What better way for the “home life to be closer to school life,” than for parents to serve as official guardians of your school? As of June 2016, the new National PTA Bylaws restated its Purpose Clauses to read:
Section 1. Objectives.
a. The purpose or purposes (Objects) which the corporation will hereafter pursue are:
To promote the welfare of children and youth in home, school, places of worship, and throughout the community;
b. To raise the standards of home life;
To advocate for laws that further the education, physical and mental health, welfare, and safety of children and youth;
To promote the collaboration and engagement of families and educators in the education 19 of children and youth;
To engage the public in united efforts to secure the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being of all children and youth; and
To advocate for fiscal responsibility regarding public tax dollars in federal education funding.
TheFiscals will propose the most direct method to effectively and directly procure purpose clause (b) under these revised 2016 National PTA Bylaws purpose clauses.
The present reform inhibits creative teaching. The educational foundations that support the status quo curtail creativity in the classroom in exchange for exams, testing standards to determine a students progression. This structure is upheld by teacher unions' political power to keep this graft in place because it revolves around incrementalism. The Association of Superintendents preserves pay scales and pension benefits based on tenure, not talent or skill. Not incentivizing teachers to find innovative solutions to their teaching methods will never advance a student's intellect or aptitude for today’s fast-paced and high skilled labor market.
First Direct ballot Parent Trigger commenced with the Development of MAST Academy on Virginia Key Florida
The political circumstances the first of its kind in U.S. history forced a vote to convert a district-run school arose after Key Biscayne's community's demands for a high school fell on deaf ears for over sixty years. Eventually, the high school issue and other lack of service grievances concerning misappropriation of tax dollars by Miami-Dade County led the island community to vote to incorporate. The movement to create a municipality succeeded in 1991 and the new city was called the Village of Key Biscayne, Florida. The strategy to build a municipal charter high school was discussed throughout five years with the Village of Key Biscayne municipality. Parents attended public hearings in the Village Council chambers pleading with the Council to build the school within the municipal boundaries. The effort failed miserably in 2008. After the previous parent advocacy group led by Charles Vascito and Angel Martin tried unsuccessfully, pro-school choice school high School within Key Biscayne municipal boundaries, Manuel Cambó (author of TheFiscals) took it upon himself to write his first guest commentary campaign in the community paper called The Islander News in 2009, 2010, 2011. These Islander News commentaries were very concise but caustic, and abrasive truth-telling from 2009-2013. The guest commentaries consistently chastised the city elected officials for ignoring the initial grievance of the pro-incorporation movement in 1991. Mr. Cambó's lobbying strategy culminated in political leverage being applied during the site plan approval Zoning Meeting in the Village of Key Biscayne city hall. That as Village of Key Biscayne's Zoning director failed to include student station impact study upon his recommendation for approval of a site plan of a 154 unit luxury multi-family development, Mr. Cambó implied that the variances were being bought and made a veiled threat using the video record of the public proceedings to appeal Oceana’s site plan in court.
The Oceana Condominium include a voluntary contribution of over $9 million for recreation space acquisition. Because the site plan did not include a student station impact study, it was appealable causing a real burden to the developer in delays to commence construction. The flaw was the perfect basis to threaten an appeal of the site plan approval and delay the developer's groundbreaking by six months in court proceedings. In Mr. Cambó's public comments in the public hearing that night on August 22, 2011, called into question the validity of the voluntary contribution given by the developer to be designated solely for municipality's recreational purposes and not for the redevelopment of KBK-8 Center. The site plan review had the recommendation by the Zoning Department Director Jud Kurlancheek, as well as Mayor Frank Caplan and the majority of the Village Council acting as the zoning board. Village of Key Biscayne attorney Steve Helfman seems to realize after the developer's attorney John Shubin is in agreement with Mr. Cambó conclusion that the present site plan does not include a student Station impact study which allows for grounds for an appeal on behalf of the residents of Key Biscayne.
Mr. Cambó assessment of the reallocation of the voluntary contribution to school renovation would avert a long construction delay entangled in court for educational concurrency component of the site plan as per state law had not been met. The education concurrency requirement for al real estate development under Florida State Statute 163.3180 Subsection [6F] (2 a, b, g.) is appealable by any resident on these merits. Additionally, local government failed to address the critical school impacts during quasi-governmental negotiations with the developer that resulted in voluntary capital contributions dedicated to recreational space, not school. The video evidence Mr. Cambó (author) had exposed could provide the basis for winning an appeal. A student station impact study would reveal the need for additional funding to construct an of Key Biscayne additional 66 student stations to KB K-8 Center. This figure is based on a mathematical formula used by Miami-Dade Public Schools facilities management to ascertain the number of dollars in impact fees to be paid to the Miami-Dade School district. The additional 154 residential units impact on the island only primary and middle school was considerable considering present overcrowding ed was 148% of capacity. The three building in question sits below sea level and in a remote barrier island. More than 50% of Key Biscayne K-8 Center facility was 57-years old. The threat of a legal challenge by Mr. Cambó with all these concurrency elements created the necessary to leverage to rededicate over nine million dollars to meet school concurrency. The possibility of a delay in construction and free up the donation to be pledged to a new high school or the existing K-8 Center site (?).
By October 2012, Mr. Cambó submitted his candidacy for KBK8 Center PTA President. He announced his intent to demand the voluntary contribution from Consultatio Development's Oceana Condominium, be dedicated for the expansion of a new school and was elected unopposed as PTA President of KB K-8 Center. Within a week of my election, the Village municipality began a negotiation to finance the construction high school annex of MAST Academy on Virginia Key. Virginia Key is also the barrier island brac (?) without residents. Virginia Key connects Key Biscayne on Rickenbacker Causeway to the mainland by eight miles. The leverage or veiled threat of a two-year delay in court would postpone the groundbreaking of $200 million development months. The development rights for Oceania project was purchased from the previous developer who initially pledged an $8 million voluntary concession in exchange for the municipality vacating a city-owned access road that split the former Sonesta Hotel property into two parcels. The Village municipality uses the self-imposed shortage of green spaces in their Masterplan in the original incorporation to cub development. Key Biscayne's political class used this erroneous claim as a legal tactic that went unchallenged. The municipality is unique geographically as Cape Florida State Park abuts it to the South and Miami-Dade County's Crandon Park in the North. The Municipality's first purchase was a nine-acre parcel of Coconut plantation owned by Richard Nixon's confidant Bebe Rebozo. Today that parcel is the Village Green in the city center park. In essence, the Village of Key Biscayne is surrounded by green space. Sometimes corrupt (?) takes a form of dishonesty, not graft.
Lost in the MAST Inter-Local Agreement was the commitment to eliminate the dilapidation and asbestos contamination at the Key Biscayne K-8 Center. The Village council always made the excuse that it was Miami-Dade County’s financial responsibility to rebuild the K-8 Center as well as more accessible high school Key Biscayne Residents. The most significant conflict was between the actual resident of the municipality who many had children in private schools and snowbirds retired without children of school age. Neither group was interested in a larger school building in the middle of the island. Dovetailing political discourse was the Miami-Dade School District political reality exposed at the public zoning hearing, MDPS did not allocate $2.4 million to the K-8 Center. This disinterest was brought to light by Mr. Cambó queries future Islander News guest commentary. The Miami-Dade School District had already misspent more than $2 million in impact fees receive by Oceana Development. It was not in the area of impact. The veiled threat by Mr. Cambó at least got MDPS to spend $2.4 million on renovations for the KB K-8 Center.
Mr. Cambó implied there are sufficient grounds for a conversion-to-charter school initiative to convert the K-8 Center to a K-12 mega charter school within the city's boundaries. The new school would be built on the existing baseball diamond for 1800 students. The $8 million voluntary developer's contribution would be the base for fundraising efforts as well as a One Million eight three thousand $1,083,000.00 in budget surpluses annually diverted to other schools within the district. Now the possibility became a crusade. The writing was on the wall for MDPS and the Village of Key Biscayne: either negotiate an Inter-local agreement (ILA) to expand an existing MAST Magnet school or the PTA President will force the first ever in Florida history conversion-to-charter K-12 on K-8 Center site McIntyre Street. It worked!
Within a week of being elected as PTA President, a public announcement was made for the Village of Key Biscayne to initially lend MDPS $8 million to build an expansion of MAST Academy Magnet High School. Unfortunately, after some backroom dealing between MDPS and Village of Key Biscayne municipality, it became apparent that deal would evolve into gargantuan 6-12 grade school at the MAST and a menial renovation of asbestos ridden dilapidated K8 Center. This prospect would diminish MAST as a high school, and the possibility of demolishing the old fifty-seven-year-old K-8 Center was also diminished with a $2 million renovation initially without expanding to mitigate overcrowding nor draining of system in abutting streets. K-8 was so insufficiently funded the meager amount meant eliminating its lead plumbing and remaining asbestos contamination was not in order and cosmetic repair and hurricane resistant windows was the best the school was slated to receive. As of 2015, the school remains overcrowded, below sea level and a flood hazard during drop off and pickups during rainstorms. The flooding is knee deep with visible sidewalk when this occurs. It against FEMA regulations to not demolish the K-8 under reconstruction regulations for government building barrier islands put in place post Hurricane Katrina. All Government building must be constructed above flood criteria. Today anyone can YouTube search words "Key Biscayne K-8 Center flooding" and watch the degree of flooding. You see that the KB K-8 Center sits in the center of the island which is its lowest point like the drain hole in a bathtub.
The Present Parent Empowerment Law as written is Un-American
In order to convince the oblivious minded that American Society is not better off when the Central Government claims to have mitigated societal ills, it must first convince the like-minded they possess a higher sense of fairness and equality as directors of your destiny and mine. They do not. Our biggest mistake was seeking an interview with the Miami Herald. The local media is not on your children's side or seeking their best interest. Their interest is promoting unanswered grievances to sell newspapers, not solutions. "If the American Public School System is not reinvented immediately, another 65 years of Progressivirus mentality will bring the American People to its knees intellectually. A society of emotionally bankrupt young people begging for a free ride is on that particular road to serfdom that only leads to a cul-d-sac and end of a one-way street."
Do not look to the local press or the national newspaper publishing companies to report the truth in the context of the pervasive failure of the Progressive's Public School System. Your effort to reinvent your neighborhood school will never be supported in the media. (See Article below) The front-page Miami Herald online article December 07 2012 and in the paper version in Sunday Edition of that week was a perfect example of the distorting events and intent of the highest order for a Major Newspaper. The Miami Herald beat Reporter Laura Insensee failed to write an altruistic story of a PTA President filing the first-ever direct ballot based Parent Trigger letter in Florida History. Instead, Manuel Cambó, with intimate knowledge of the Charter School Educational model, was represented as a front man for his sibling, a Charter School Developer, who had no involvement in the effort whatsoever. The goal for the two PTA officers at the Key Biscayne K-8 Center was to stop a $5 Million dollar renovation of a dilapidated 57-year old school without expanding it or to mitigate present overcrowding. Over the course of 25 years, the School District had been siphoning off over $1 Million dollars from the School's administration budget. Schools converted into Parent Guardianship Schools en masse to replace compulsory teachers union in public schooling.
Instead, the Herald's Editors and the reporter set out to formulate a narrative that devious KB K-8 Center’s PTA President was seeking to funnel business to a Charter School Developer and Family member. Charter School Developers do not want District-run schools to convert on existing school properties. This would dry up disenfranchised Parents/students seeking and enrolling at Charter Schools in newly developed campuses. The better and rarer story is one of a person applying principles to circumstances by putting their Community interests over family interests. These virtues were lost in America and should be emphasized by journalists to their readers when the moment arises. Miami Herald Newspaper in an underhanded manner chose the envy theme over parent empowerment, leadership, and fortitude.
The editors at the Miami Herald were given marching orders to the reporter keep the public school privatization narrative alive in the article as any type of school choice as a threat to taxpayer-financed socialist education. The additional force undermining our effort was to keep to your highest paying advertising client (MDPS) satisfied and continuing as the most consistent monthly advertiser in the Miami Herald. The perfect angle was to make-up a narrative that the PTA President at the K8 Center was working as a front man his older brother in the Charter development business. The link was never established by tying the brothers in a financial scheme to buy the KB-K8 Center for-profit charter business. This implication was disingenuous journalism at a minimum. It is a known fact that Charter School Developers are interested in parents taken back a district-run school. They prefer an environment of the disgruntled parent choosing to remove their children from undesirable school to attend new charter schools.
The most effective proven method to slow the expansion of school choice is to disenfranchise Parents into believing socialized School District run education is better because it is secular and not for profit. This agenda is Bipolar because in Capitalistic society all education should be driven by one goal: to prepare a young individual to hold a job, sustain a family in life self-reliance and self-sufficiency. In the article, this is achieved first by distorting facts, second by ignoring the Castaldi Study, an engineering study commissioned by the School District in 2009, that concluded the 50-year-old School was to be razed because it contained asbestos was cost deficient to renovate it.
Eight-five percent of American parents will not support the reinvention of the public school system today. It may be too late by now. Most Socialist are between the ages of 25-40 in the United States. They will be having little tyrants soon, who will be the American socialists of tomorrow. The moral of the story: Nobody knows as much as you think they do. Nobody cares as much as you think they do. Nothing really changes as much as you think they do. It just gets less important as didn't think would.
The Village of Key Biscayne is an affluent Neighborhood paying its lion share of school taxes, far greater than it receives from Miami-Dade County Public Schools, (MDPS). The Municipality should have an Elementary School above flood criteria for a barrier island. This fact was ignored as the K8 Center's basic footprint remained the same, after ($5) five million dollar taxpayer-funded renovation was completed in 2014, it failed to expand the facility or add a single student station. During the renovation of the old portion of the campus, (4) four KB K-8 teachers have been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, while overcrowding continues as KB K-8 Center has reached 150% of capacity with an average of 36 students per class in contradiction to Florida's Class Size Amendment. After a video was taken by the Parent Proponents of YES vote went viral, showing severe flooding during marginal rains, the Municipality of the Village Key Biscayne had to fund the installation of a larger pump and stormwater drain pipes during the summer before the 2015-2016 academic year.
The Legal Precedent for All Florida's Parents was Established at KB K-8 Center, Key Biscayne, Florida
The conversion-to-charter effort began with a letter dated October 04, 2012 to Miami-Dade School Board Attorney. In the body of the letter Manuel A. Cambó and Hector Ceballos as parents, not as PTA President and Vice-President respectively, the desire to force the vote and participate in negotiation on ballot process for the first Parent Trigger vote in Florida history. The Miami Herald's front page article in print in December 2012 Sunday and Online painted a narrative where a developer was seeking to take over the A-rated School using his brother as a frontman PTA President. The reporter Ms. Insensee did not interview a developer yet the article dedicated over 50% of the content on the rental income of the Alliance Charter Schools presently received from MDPS. The real omission was journalistically neglectful the finding that the proponent's discovered more than a million [$1,083,000.00] dollars in budget surpluses in the 2013 internal school budget.
If the Key Biscayne community of highly educated parents failed to recognize the potential in acting as Parent Guardians of their school's budget, what could the less affluent neighborhoods hope to achieve?
The key to fixing the Public School is not in the classroom as previously thought. It is not key. It is the combination to a padlock at the Principal's office. Opposition group who desire the status quo act as if the School District run Schools are not about for-profit. It is School bureaucrats salaries and pension benefits who are profiting from the malaise. This pay structure is at the expense of underpaid Teachers. The newspapers pursue this narrative Nationwide to preserve the extraordinary advertising revenue procured by School District administrations in print media. Without the School District print advertising budget annually for all communication and notices needs on a daily basis, all major newspaper companies cannot survive financially, especially in small school districts Statewide. The Miami Herald did the MDPS bidding to defeat the conversion to the Governing School initiative, nothing more nothing less. If successful at amending the Law by changing the empowerment law, the new Governing School Act would spread Countywide, then Statewide, then Nationwide. Florida as the only state with a ballot-based Parent Trigger law would be the trailblazer state to reinvent the Public School System in the United States.
What could be more empowering than Parents with accumulated budget surpluses annually and soliciting the local philanthropic community to provide matching grants to modernize and expand a community School, instead of school district bonds using at large bond initiatives? The Governing School Act will reknit the American fabric through responsibility and maturity of American parents operating public schools.
Parent Conversion proponents at the KB K-8 Center face enormous obstacles for a ballot box victory.
#1 MDPS refusal to release before the vote in a timely manner, the actual KB K-8 Administration Budget to audit and to show the budget surplus at a general meeting of parents.
#2 MDPS refusal to allow Parent Proponents to make a formal presentation with a Q & A Parent Forum on School grounds to explain these benefits of a 'Yes' Vote.
#3 Denial of participation in panel discussions at School District hosted Parent Forums. To clearly State the benefits of the demolition of a 57-year-old dilapidated condition of the school, was unsustainable Financially as per a "Castaldi Study" and Release of the true nature of the asbestos mitigation in the School's past.
#4 Refusal to disclose new Post-Katrina FEMA regulations preventing below sea level School renovations without elevating Public buildings above flood and storm surge specifications.
#5 Without the support of the School Principal all information is slanted towards a "No" vote with threats of School bussing off the island and Teachers leaving in droves.
Parent Guardianship School is a novel School Choice model. It is very Important to note the Charter School Development Community will not support the Governing School model. This is a movement that could be sweeping the Nation by now had the Republicans in Florida Legislature hadn't sold out to Developers. It is a very effective proactive method of administering a Public School while affording the opportunity to modernize School buildings without the perpetual need to issue School Bonds by ballot initiatives. Charter School Developers will view this School choice alternative as direct competition for recruiting disgruntled Parents, with underachieving Students, looking for an alternative to a district-run Public School. The Governing School has a distinct benefit, it does not pay rent for the School facility on School District-owned property. Without rent obligation nor immediate land purchase or construction financing, nor a need to market to fill Student body rolls, it becomes the School model of preference. Governing School is the end all be all to reinventing the Public School System. If amended as TheFiscals suggests, no longer will Parents who care for their Community be subjected to misinformation campaigns by the District, Teacher's Unions and internal staff at the School. This new model will spread to the other (49) forty-nine States. After a victory in the Intra-School vote, Community involvement participated in focus groups, and some Parental leadership explained the application process and the election of a Board as Guardian of the Finances. This is to be completed for County School Board approval within 90 days of the Yes victory. If the School disapproves of the Parent's application, there is an appeals process to the Department of Education. It has the final say.
The notion that the Public School can be reinvented nationwide is not appealing to print media. Even after half a century of ineffectual reform and conclusive data of Adults not able to read or articulate, Parents are unable to understand the nature of the ineptitude. The Federal Government has designated ten times more Federal dollars on Public Education in the last 30 years to no avail.
Pervasive Divorce and out of wedlock births only make matters worse in public education. In these situations, the School faculty are all these children have a family. Presently over 4 Million Children are homeless in America. The results have not changed, massive overcrowding persists, more dilapidated School facilities, dismal graduation rates, and diplomas are literally given away and not earned. Most High School Graduates can't read at grade level and do not survive three Semesters at Community Colleges or Universities.
Hector Ceballos and I, Manuel Cambó, thought that getting front-page news coverage in the Miami Herald in the Sunday edition was the magic bullet to success for a new modern safe school that both the Teachers and Students deserved. After all Key Biscayne K-8 Center was the best K-8 Center in Miami-Dade. We thought that this was the breakthrough that we were looking for to get our Community's support and force the 4th largest School District in the US to call the vote. This would have been the first in Florida History. This would set the legal precedent for all Florida's Parents in the process. It had been 16 years since the Law was first signed into law in 1997. No Parents dared to apply it to a School for all the reasons mentioned above. As it turned out, once the article hit the newsstands, it became the biggest obstacle to overcome, as the article undermined our efforts with untruths. Five (5) days after the article ran on December 12th, the Sandy Hook Elementary Newtown School Massacre took place. Advocating for a new School building is synonymous with a more secure School. The Community should have embraced the effort passionately on timing alone. Not supporting this effort as Parents, Teachers and Principals are ignoring that reality. Our Community failed miserably as mature adults to set an example to the rest of South Florida. This alone says more about the Country and our State of Public schooling than anything else. The infamous cliché, "when everyone is thinking alike, someone is not thinking" definitely applies to the PTA Executive board at all County School levels. Its culture is to uphold District bureaucracy which is not in the Teachers interest. Within its culture resides the epicenter of intellects of Statism. It is the bastion of the entire personality disorder and progressive philosophy of indoctrination.
Lets' explain this negative dynamic further as the children watched as their PTA President was forced to resign. The School District's misinformation campaign began with taking home communicators to Parents. It included an information sheet ripe with scare tactics, and threats of busing our children to other overcrowded feeder Schools off the Island to mainland Miami 9 miles away. The success of this campaign was clearly demonstrated by the vote tally: not a single Teacher voted Yes to convert, while 83 voted 'No'. Ironically poetic was the one ballot where a Parent/Teacher voted yes as a Parent and no as a Teacher. It was counted as invalid due to squabbling handwriting.
This was a watershed moment for the School choice movement; Parents have two choices: stop pleading for reform to District School Administrators or start firing triggers letters all over your state. The parents must stop crying at Parent Teacher's Associations meetings; neither are interested in reinventing schools. Take back your School by Parent Guardianship Boards to manage individual School budget and save surpluses year-to-year. In nutshell stand up to force the vote, County by County and disrupt the public education institution via intra-school elections. This is a macro societal movement if it occurs nationwide. Through family fortitude that evolves into community fortitude empowered by one goal to rebuild their school one by one, America can rid itself of the feckless effect of the Progressive Movement of the last century.
The insidious nature and the degree of intimidation that their Children suffer in the class by Teachers or opposition Parents. Imagine a community of parents not allowing your Child to associate with their Child because of this activism, cannot be understated. Consider this, when a Teacher's animosity raises the questioning of a fifth grader in class, to explain their Parent's motives for calling the vote, something is terribly wrong in American Democratic society. When the daughter of the PTA President and the proponent has to stand up for herself and makes the case that causes an uncontrollable class chant in objection because the Teacher eggs them on is unacceptable. Although Union Teachers behavior is no surprise, subjecting your own children to abuse by Teachers can never be fully comprehended by other Parents who reap the benefits of such an endeavor. It is a strong message; don't dare try to save your child's academic future or support another parent who has an idea to replace the School District's cultural malaise or incompetence, we will come after you. Like a closed society mob mentality in communist countries.
Furthering the intimidation throughout the campaign, Una Cambó, daughter to Manuel Cambó the present KBK8 PTA President had this poster perfectly placed at the sink ( See below) every time she went to the class bathroom.
The parental vote was 31 Yes - 531 voted 'No' while more than (200) two hundred Families vote at all. Teacher union voted unanimously 0-83 No.
If you are a Parent who finds comfort in criticizing the School Choice Movement with the claim that this is nothing more than the privatization effort of the Public School System, then you are the problem. Just sit back, hand your child the remote control, and watch them work part-time at low paying odd jobs. Foreign Students are qualifying at twice the success rate for College Scholarships to America's best Universities than Children from American High Schools. Foreign Students are more prepared, and more likely to graduate in four years. This will result in brighter futures when they return home to China, India, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Argentina, and the rest to Eastern European Countries. If they decide to stay in the US to compete against your Children in the workplace, your Children are out of a job; because most Foreign Students in America are multi-lingual. If they go back to their homeland because the American Student Visa Law does not encourage them to stay, they are likely taking jobs at American Companies who are established overseas. Today's prospects for employment requires a rapid recall, novel ideas, initiative finesse and the temp in innovation, not an overconfident personality living in a virtual World. The high self-esteem and grandiose entitlement attitudes Americans are famous for is surreal. Download the Law's text on this website and get it passed in your State.
The Ultimate Evidence of domestic failure American high school education is the creativity factor in inventions. The statistics from the US Patent Office is clear: Foreigners have more Patent Pending than US citizens waiting to be granted.
The US Department of Education (DOE) has zero accomplishments as a Federal Department. Since it was elevated to a cabinet-level position by President Jimmy Carter, federal money is attached to Presidential initiatives that are likely to be inconsistent with the opposing party sitting President. Without a DOE the US Congress would be obligated to block grant to state on a per student population formula. The money can be solely dedicated to Facility modernization and physical expansion, not curriculum.
Federal funding dynamic is too political to be congruent with the fundamentals of teaching. Only local auspice by Parents whose focus on reading disciplines, math aptitude, and social rituals can properly monitor student achievement until Graduation Day.
Why is it politically inconvenient for a U.S. President to eliminate this 'Top Down' Imperial Power of Department of Education's financial allocation power? For a President, it is the only method for a Chief Executive to leave his philosophical mark on American Society. Unfortunately, his gains will likely be reversed especially if his predecessor was making headway, and was from the opposing Political Party. Redirecting the educational emphasis is automatic. As time runs out in a President's term in Office, the educational vision for the Country is turned upside down for better or for worse. This Political dynamic is incompatible with the art of teaching, and the science of learning. It is also inconsistent with applying basic disciplines, and ignores where Federal funding should be mandated; the expansion of School Facilities in States where there is population growth. This dynamic at the Executive branch can only create 'moving targets' for the (50) fifty State Departments of Education while Federal benchmarks are never achieved. Not only has the Federal Government failed to execute any real improvement in Public Education statistics, but every major literary category shows competing Nations of the Industrialized World outranking the United States.
Do not wait a day next week or a day next month, or a month next year, to reform public school reinvent it, today.
Neva King Cooper Principals File Civil Rights Lawsuit:
In question in the federal case is the Superintendent owe special are two School Principals Dr. Alberto Fernandez and Hanni Cristobol and a Special placement needs Patricia Ramirez personal freedom of speech rights when acting as officers of the School District (?). As plaintiffs, they claim is they suffered unnecessary reprisal and intimidation for merely studying the benefits of charter conversion amongst staff at Neva King Copper special needs school in Homestead Florida. The Educational Excellence School Advisory Council (ESSAC) meeting was held notifying parents of the possibility of the conversion effort. The Miami Dade County School District (MDPS) sent a team of District Administrators to interrogate the teaching staff for an entire week. This was an obvious intimidation tactic to discover who initiated the idea and suspend those involved for insubordination. The penalty was to be removed from the school immediately. The universe leaves clues as to the unethical nature of Miami-Dade County Public School District opposition to converting the school to Parental Guardianship schools to the degree of denying citizens their Civil Rights. The Civil Rights lawsuit Fernandez, Cristobol, Ramirez v. School Board of Miami-Dade County, Case No. 15-cv-21915, is freedom of Speech case that will test on the merits whether District Administration can intimidate their employees, deny them their Civil Rights in the process if they seek a school choice alternative to district-managed schools.
In the first round, the motion to dismiss by the School District was denied by Judge Darrin Gayles. On August 19, 2016, U.S. Federal Judge Gayles issued a Federal Court order to proceed to trial against the District. On 63-67, pages 7 and 8, of Judge's order, the parents at KB K-8 Center effort were single out and cited as evidence that a culture of intimidation does exist at MDPS. On June 12, 2017, the same Federal District Judge reversed his decision. A motion for appeal for this reversal is pending but without Patricia Ramirez, a placement specialist at NKC, who settled out of court under for undisclosed financial terms with the Miami-Dade School District. Political intimidation and denial of freedom of speech, in this case, would have monumental consequences.
This culture government coercion must be exposed at a national level. Unfortunately, on August 10, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the School District do not have to respect an individual free speech as it, employees, when they exercise their right to convert a school to charter status as per state statute 1002.33 (3b) Florida Parent Empowerment law. The court's granted of summary judgment in favor Miami Dade school board against the pleas of Principal Fernandez and Vice-Principal Cristobol opens a significant argument for teachers to be eliminated from casting ballots. The panel held that the Supreme Court's most recent opinion in Lane v. Franks, 134 S. Ct. 2369 (2014), the Superintendent actions were well in his right to suppress it's employees expression because the court recognizes them as administrators are not as private citizens. As the principal and assistant principal of a public school, pursuant to their official duties, the effort they undertook to convert their public school into a charter school was outside of their official duties. Therefore, their speech was not protected speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The Federal trial demonstrated that administrators as well teachers are not stakeholders. Furthermore, TheFiscals believe they shouldn't be permitted to cast ballots as unbiased voters when the law in essence explicitly allows intimidation by School Board authorities. If closed society voting guidelines as written in the present Florida Parent Empowerment Law, Section 1002.33 (3b), Florida Statutes, goes unamended, our effort is in vain. In fact, it reinforces and facilitates the continued abuse and intimidation of student by teachers and Parent Proponents by School Superintendent. The U.S. Eleventh Circuit has validated that School Administrators are employees with sworn allegiance to the School District and there are not stakeholders exclusive of student, not parents much less the public school.
Unfortunately, unfair closed society voting guidelines allowing teachers veto power over parent as taxpayers are established law. If never amended because of efforts we have failed miserably as conservatives and republicans and as school choice crusaders. Without the amendments, TheFiscals advocacy has done more harm than good to the people of Florida. Giving teachers Union more power is not what TheFiscals desired. What is ironic in the Neva King Cooper case and the KB K-8 Center effort is all the participants subjected to infringement of speech and expression were sons of Cuban exiles by a Superintendent who is a naturalized citizen of Portugal. Two principals and Parent have parents who came to America so their children would never lose their freedom of speech (?). This flawed law has failed the parents of Florida. Your children's future hangs in the balance as an educational environment that may be detrimental to their preparedness to take on life's challenges is in jeopardy.
Ultimately, the Fernandez, Cristobol v. School Board of Miami-Dade County case deserves to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court. But it will never happen because School Principals are employees of the School District that denies them most Freedom of Speech rights as indiviuals. The charter conversion law was not intended to empower Teachers as it states. This allows unions, PTAs and School Board appointees to abuse their authority. At KB K-8 Center it allowed a teacher to intimidate 5th-grade student of the Parent proponent. The law does not protect the student, in fact, it only protects the public school board administrators educational funding sources from the State Department of Education of their state. Without the changes in the law, the adverse outcomes create an acrimonious educational environment when Parents vote "Yes" and Teachers vote "No.”