advertisement

SSN on Facebook SSN on Twitter SSN on YouTube RSS Feed

30 Comments
Columns

What Andrew Gillum Really Thinks about School Choice

October 29, 2018 - 6:00am

If you care about school choice in Florida, watch out for Andrew Gillum.

In the debate last week, Gillum told the moderator he is not looking to defund charter schools. “I’m not proposing any change to the current status quo,” he said before quickly pivoting to the more popular talking point on increasing teacher salaries. But you’d be forgiven if you’re a little skeptical of that answer.

A few minutes later, when he was pressed, he expounded on how he really felt. 

Lane Wright
Lane Wright

“The congressman has accepted tens of thousands of dollars from [U.S. Education Secretary] Betsy DeVos,” he said, criticizing his GOP opponent, Ron DeSantis. “Actually $200,000 from Betsy DeVos. Their agenda is simple. It is to completely defund the public education system and to stand up the for-profit charter school industry.

“Why should we forsake 90 percent of the kids for 10 percent of charter school students?” he continued. “It’s not what Florida deserves.”

Clearly, Gillum sees charter schools as a threat. 

You know who else sees charter schools as a threat? Local and national teachers unions and their political allies.

If you believe Gillum’s talking point about the forsaken 90 percent of kids in traditional schools, you might be imagining a system where charter schools, which educate less than 12 percent of Florida students, are getting unfair sums of cash to flourish while the rest of the public education system withers on the vine.

The truth is that charter schools receive state funds based on how many students they teach, just like Every. Other. Public. School. The inverse, of course, is also true, but I never hear districts complaining about the money they receive when students come into their schools. When considering all sources of funding, charter schools actually operate with about $3,000 less per student than traditional schools. 

And that’s not all. According to the Florida Department of Education, both types of schools -- charter and traditional -- are growing since 2013. Statewide, charters simply aren’t cutting into district enrollment. So tell me again how they are draining funds? 

As a parent, I’ve watched my own son’s school get the short end of the stick from a hostile school district. And I’ve seen attacks and resistance on charter schools across the state and nation.

These charter-school haters are Andrew Gillum’s people. Don’t think he won’t be influenced by them if he wins the governor’s mansion next month.

His record against school choice, in virtually all its forms, is well documented. So well, in fact, that a “30-year activist with the Democratic party and left-leaning causes,” Catherine Durkin Robinson, sent out a regretful email showing “who supports [school choice] and who doesn’t.”

Credit Step Up for Students
Credit Step Up for Students

She linked to this page showing how Gillum “wants to bring Step Up Scholarship to conclusion.” He got nearly $850,000 from the same group that sued Step Up For Students, the organization that administers scholarships to low-income families and won the support of the National Education Association, in part, because he opposes charter schools

Even though charter schools make up just a small portion of the state’s public schools, and tax-credit scholarships even less than that, most of us benefit from choice. Some are lucky enough to buy homes in nice neighborhoods, or in a school zone where they’re happy with what the neighborhood school has to offer. Others are blessed to get their kids into specialized international baccalaureate programs, or magnet schools. We all believe in choice, and charters are just one more way to help families get what they need. 

The bottom line is this: I don’t know if Andrew Gillum is serious when he says he won’t defund charter schools, but I’ve seen his record and I know who his influential friends are. All signs point to a man who’s more likely to fight against families looking for school choice than to support them. 

Contact education contributor Lane Wright at lwright@educationpost.org.

Comments

Newsflash.... traditional public schools generate profit for bureaucratic purposes. Why do you think there is so much standardized testing, evaluations, textbook adoptions, 504 plans for ADHD, etc? Everyone profits in some regard. The true issue at hand is whether parents deserve a right to choose a school that best benefits THEIR individual child. For some reason, the common thought is the only way to hold a system accountable is through money. If public school was the best/only option, Florida would not be looking at one of the lowest graduation rates in America. Blacks and low-income students in Florida rank in the bottom 10% of all states in reading proficiency. Is that a public education issue only? No. But it lends itself to reason that if that child was not successful in a traditional setting, then the PARENTS should have the right to choose another avenue for learning. Especially, as taxpayers.

Vote this election for candidates who prioritize citizens over illegal aliens (bet you thought that was a given ...not anymore.) Those candidates who oppose sanctuary cities, open borders, non citizens voting, amnesty for millions of illegal aliens and taxpayer funded in state college tuition discounts. That means NO Democrats. BILL NELSON and Socialist ANDREW GILLUM are running for Senate & Governor respectively. Nelson / Gillum both proudly supports abolishing ICE, sanctuary cities, amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, using taxpayer funds for illegal aliens & DACA. In addition, both are weak on border security and national defense. If you OPPOSE illegal immigration, taxpayer funds used for illegal aliens, sanctuary cities, amnesty r Please VOTE NO for BILL NELSON & ANDREW GILLUM this November....we can't afford anymore Democrats. Both supported by both La Raza & MALDEF which says it all. Recent Gallup poll- almost 60% of Democrats now view socialism positively, little changed from 2010 survey. To Democrats programs like (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA) and (Temporary Protective Status, TPS.) are permanent programs. There is nothing temporary about these programs to the left. The goal for Democrats is to flood/lure the country with illegal aliens & refugees, then fight against / eliminate deportations. Democrats want to encourage, reward, protect illegal aliens with jobs, amnesty, drivers licenses, discounts for college tuition, scholarships, then after they're here....protect them from deportation. This creates MORE illegal entry and the Democrats know this. The current migration at our southern border is costing taxpayers a Kings Ransom. Fleeing persecution? or fleeing for freebies? they sure don't stay in Mexico when they reach "safety" or ask for political asylum in Mexico. Why? because Mexico will give them NOTHING. So they make the long journey to our border, our generous Democrats and our tax dollars. Just debating DACA in congress is costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars..... thank the parents. Just a few examples of the more outrageous costs associated with illegal immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children and grand children as has been passed on to us. *The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the billions spent on bilingual education for illegal aliens. *Taxpayers in numerous states are funding in state college tuition discounts for illegal aliens. Cost to taxpayers over a billion dollars annually. *30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.Does not include local jails and State Prisons. At $21,000 per year expense per inmate in Federal Prison U do the math. *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate, process Illegal aliens in the Criminal justice system. I repeat 3 MILLION a DAY. *$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps) WIC, & free school lunches. If you OPPOSE illegal immigration, taxpayer funds used for illegal aliens, sanctuary cities, non citizens voting, open borders, amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, weak border security, tax increases. VOTE NO for ALL Democrats this November.

Gillum is an idiot and his public education shows. Jealous of underprivileged kids getting a better education through choice. He wants all children to suffer a poor education in public schools! Charter , Christian or Home schooling is the only way to go!

Gillum is an idiot and his public education shows. Jealous of underprivileged kids getting a better education through choice. He wants all children to suffer a poor education in public schools! Charter , Christian or Home schooling is the only way to go!

Gillum is an idiot and his public education shows. Jealous of underprivileged kids getting a better education through choice. He wants all children to suffer a poor education in public schools! Charter , Christian or Home schooling is the only way to go!

Gillum is an idiot and his public education shows. Jealous of underprivileged kids getting a better education through choice. He wants all children to suffer a poor education in public schools! Charter , Christian or Home schooling is the only way to go!

If your kids underperform in public school that is a direct reflection of the parents who aren’t involved in their kids education. Thousands of students in public school go to Ivy Leagues and top school, except their parents took personal responsibility.

Gillum is an idiot and his public education shows. Jealous of underprivileged kids getting a better education through choice. He wants all children to suffer a poor education in public schools! Charter , Christian or Home schooling is the only way to go!

If public schools limited class size to 12 like our adopted step child private school I might consider public school.Becuase of step up we can afford a smaller class inviroment. We still have to pay public school tax. Step up slows all lower income and Foster children to get the best education they can . I can not see how this a bad thing.

My Son is Autistic and the Public school cannot teach him the way he needs. Charter school had the resources needed to effectively teach my son to pass state standards.

No more 'for profit' charter schools ... period. No more 'privatization' of anything ... period. The Republican Party is all about 'Making Money'; the Democratic Party is all about 'The People'! The 'money-makers' have been screwing up this state for more than the last 20 years! #VoteBlue #GoGillum

I agree 110%. I worked for our district and saw the ins and outs!!! The Republicans are betting on your lack of knowledge on this topic. Over 75% of charters have failing grades. U know why? Bc they are manufactured. Based solely to make money and the teacher turn over is crazy and damaging to the students. Often times there are no teachers and months go by before parents know.

I agree 110%. I worked for our district and saw the ins and outs!!! The Republicans are betting on your lack of knowledge on this topic. Over 75% of charters have failing grades. U know why? Bc they are manufactured. Based solely to make money and the teacher turn over is crazy and damaging to the students. Often times there are no teachers and months go by before parents know.

Guess you couldn't understand the article,.. or didn't read it before you "blew it off", "Ted Kruze"... ( Maybe a "reading interpretation course" should be included in your future, by you...). [Or are you merely a "teacher's union" WONK ?

Haha!

Some. Charter schools are fine but most are profit centers for republican contributors .Many survive due to the support of republican legislators who are either on their payroll or garner campaign contributions They "cream" from public schools and then boast how their academic achievements surpass Publix schools Public schools are being shortchanged for the benefit of a for profit cabal with their very narrow agenda ... make money at expense of public education Keep the masses down so the elite can rule

Can you substaniate that claim? As a person who has prepared financial statments (montly and audited) as well as the 990 returns for many many charter schools over the last 15 years I can say you are incorrect.

"Freedom of Choice",.. THAT'S THE TICKET !!!... and "the American Way"!!!

Sorry, that's just not accurate. There are "many" charter schools in Florida managed by for-profit companies, but I've never found evidence that "most" are. In fact, nationwide, only 16 percent of charter schools are run by for-profits according to one source. https://www.usnews.com/opinion/knowledge-bank/articles/2017-05-17/states-shouldnt-rush-to-ban-for-profit-charter-schools. It's likely a similar ratio in Florida. 16 percent of 650 charter schools is still more than a hundred, so "many" is totally accurate if that's the case. I've never seen a report that says most charter schools are run by nonprofits. Have you? And keep in mind, every nonprofit is a private organization, so don't get those terms confused. Private does not equal for-profit.

GILLUM is not caring about children or their families. Gillum is after votes. Those votes are from the Union Teachers, that will allow this criminal Democrat to receive voter support from the other unions. The teacher influence their children to go home and tell your parents to vote for Gillum. Gillum has been accepting graph, as described in the news. But there are other trips and gifts and money passed under the table that is illegal, and it is coming in from the Soros Groups. Soros has 123 group organizations across America. Also Gillum is receiving money from the state and National Teachers Union. The President of the Teachers Union lives in Michigan. This same President of the Teachers Union gave Murkoski( Alaska Senator) and Collins(Senator) bribe money to not vote for Betsy Devos (150,000. EA.). These two Senators took the bribe money, and VP Pence came in to vote to appoint Ms. Devos.

Those that can't "DO", Teach; those that can't "TEACH", Teach Gym; those that can't teach Gym, become union representatives ( and "talk" like they've been "teaching" all of their lives...(But they can't "Walk" the "Walk"..!)

spoken like a truth expert in nothingness...

I am all for anyone that does not support Betsy Devos. She has never been an educator, she has never been involved in education. She is a rich bureaucrat, who is deeply invested in the charter school and standardized testing industry and lobby. She has given and received large sums of money in support of this for profit sham. She is the antithesis of public education in this country. Kids are not the first priority with these entities, money is. Nothing should come before kids when it comes to education.

Spoken like a "non-Walking" pretend teacher... (How many of our children have suffered through YOUR "busy-work" classes that actually squelched "learning"?...There are FAR TOO MANY of YOU to ignore..!)

I'm not a teacher. I've just always believed that experts should be the ones making decisions in specialized fields, certainly not politicians, nor those with a vested financial interest in the stakes. Certainly not, arm chair, trailer park pundits and talking heads who are unemployed and having nothing better to do than watch FoxNews and are experts in the field of BS...but at least you are an expert in something...

Education should have choices. Not a problem. Education should NOT be a for profit option for parents who can't afford it. Florida is not a state, where the rich occupy all parts of the state. Let's start with salaries. Florida is one of the states, where salaries are lower than the national average. Why raise salaries, when you can get anyone to work down here, who wants to get out of the frozen northern tundra. Our entire educational system needs overhaul. We, like other states, have to get rid of the George Bush standardized testing routine. We're not teaching our kids anything, but how to pass a test, in order to meet an agenda. It doesn't work. I don't have a problem with state school ratings to determine school personnel, or to encourage teachers to go an extra mile for extra pay. But let's pick an educational agenda, statewide. When teachers give us the grades and graduates that we expect, we give them something for their efforts. Teacher salaries DO need to be scrutinized. They are low. When we make the teachers happy, our children will benefit. If teachers become complacent, we move them on. It's going to mean parents help too. School is not daycare.

Big shocker here... Charters should be operating for less than regular schools. They don't have any transportation or food service costs, nor do they receive money for placement testing, IEP's etc., which are still the responsibility of the school board. There are many things that for profit entities should never be a part of, but Public Safety and Education are definitely two of those. The focus should always, always be kid centered, instead of profit centered. Not to mention, nearly 80% of Charter Schools have closed since they began, 48% close within 5 years, and a shocking 15% close within the first year. That is just unacceptable. Most are not closed by school boards, because of the ridiculous regulations for improvement plans that must be created and monitored by the school boards for Charter's. They only have to make modest improvements to stay open. Shockingly, most Charters are closed by their own management companies, due to mismanagement of funds usually, or just plain mismanagement, Meanwhile, they walk away with all of the start up costs and money allocated per child for the year, leaving the school boards scrambling to place those kids in local schools. Most of the time, it is just a part of those management companies business plans. It is a sad, sad reality...

First off is the construction funds given to Charters with no strings attached where they could build a school, rin it a couple yrs, stop and have the building free and clear scam.....................And maintenance, repair funds for public schools was given to Charter schools completely leaving all Florida schools badly hurting as they depended on that money...…………..Worst part of Charter Schools are they are unaccountable with little way to tell if they are teaching well enough or not our kids...…………….And their failure rate leaving kids in the lurch is almost half and many are failures at teaching...……..And don't think parents haven't noticed and they like women, the young, other decent people are voting...………...See you on the 6th.;^).

"Jerry", regardless of the "topic at hand", you are ALWAYS such a "bullcrap artist", spreading your consistent nonsense...

My daughter is a charter school teacher. They work very hard. They are subject to the same standard tests as the other schools. They are an addition to, not a subtraction from, education in Florida. The teachers are subject to not having their contracts renewed every year if they don't teach well enough. I wish she would have a more lucrative carreer but she was passionate over the kids and teaching. I don't think you are seeing the good they do or you would not be so ready to trash people helping kids.

Add new comment

columns
advertisement

Opinion Poll

Should Brenda Snipes be removed from office as soon as Florida's 2018 election results have been certified?
Older pollsResults
advertisement

Chatterbox

Live streaming of WBOB Talk Radio, a Sunshine State News Radio Partner.

advertisement
advertisement
advertisement