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Conklin Calls on Flagler School Board to Sue Scott and Legislature Over Education Funding

| April 6, 2011

Colleen Conklin

'Year after year the state legislature has abdicated its responsibility,' Colleen Conklin told her fellow board members Tuesday evening. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler County School Board member Colleen Conklin on Tuesday evening asked her colleagues to consider suing the Legislature and the governor for not abiding by a constitutional mandate to adequately fund local education. The board set a meeting on April 19, at 1:30 p.m., to discuss the matter. Following is the text of Conklin’s remarks to the board.

I ask for your consideration to engage our school district in a legal suit against the Florida State House, Senate and Governors Office on failure to comply with Article IX of the State Constitution.

Let me provide some historical context as this has been explored before.

In 1995, a group filed a complaint against then-Governor Lawton Chiles. The lower courts dismissed the case as it failed to determine the meaning of adequacy. Advocates turned to citizens to determine their desire to support education in the state of Florida through strengthening the constitutional language.

In 1998, voters approved an amendment to strengthen the educational clause in the state constitution. The new language made Florida’s education clause some of the strongest in the nation: “The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education…”

In 2006, Miami Dade took the approach to fight something in the funding formula called the “District Cost Differential.” This is when districts are penalized based on the “amenities” that they have such as beaches and theme parks, which are presumed to bring in additional revenue to that local community. This also works in reverse. Poorer districts can receive an allocation through the cost-differential formula. In 2006, Miami Dade took an $88 million dollar hit due to a recalculation of the formula. Their claim was that this violated the “uniformity” of the education clause.

In 2008, The Florida School Board Association Board of Directors, of which at the time I was a member, voted unanimously to file a suit against the state for violation of the Article IX. After discussion with key legislators, FSBA backed off and tried to work with legislators to find solutions to key issues. In my opinion, backing off was a mistake.

In 2009, there were two suits that were filed by parent and education advocacy groups. The state filed to dismiss the case. A court denied the dismissal request based on the fact that the new constitutional language had not been tried before. The case is moving forward.

The recommended approach for the Flagler County School district is to ask: whose responsibility is it to fund education? Does that responsibility fall on the shoulders of local officials or state officials? The constitution clearly answers this question: “The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education . . .”

Year after year the state legislature has abdicated this responsibility and has forced local school boards to ensure the adequate funding of our schools through voter referendums and federal stimulus aid. The state knew this funding was going to be depleted this year and has not prepared for this event. The Flagler County School District has worked for the last three years to build up our reserves in preparation for this drop in funding–what we’ve referred to as the “funding cliff.” If it were not for these reserves and the voters of Flagler County supporting the half-penny sales tax and the quarter-mil tax, we would be in dire straits.

Our district can be proud of the fact that we are so technologically rich compared to many other districts, but today providing students with technology has become a basic staple of properly preparing students for the 21st century. The continuation of the quarter-mil tax, which brings in about $2 million, allowed us to lessen the drastic budget cut that still remains and must be dealt with. Our reserve of around $7 million will help soften the blow but only for a short period of time, as we will quickly be forced to use it.

I humbly request that we schedule a workshop to discuss the viability of moving forward with such legal action.

Colleen Conklin, a Flagler County School Board member since 2000, can be reached by email here.

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52 Responses for “Conklin Calls on Flagler School Board to Sue Scott and Legislature Over Education Funding”

  1. Lucine says:

    It’s sad that we have to sue our incapable “governor” just so that he properly funds education. But if this is the wake-up call and reality check he needs, so be it.

    I guess the resounding “boo’s” at the baseball game fell on deaf ears. Maybe another court appearance will open them up.

  2. Weldon Ryan says:

    I applaud Ms. Conklin for wanting to pursue this endeavor. When it comes to our children we must be aggressive in providing what should rightfully be administered by the state.

  3. Dee says:

    She is also suing Flagler Beach because she tripped on a sidewalk.

  4. palmcoaster says:

    It is a real shame that we pay plenty of taxes for the services that our government is supposed to give us back, being one of them education and we need to sue for our services we pay, be rendered.
    Can Florida legislators tell us all, where the Florida lottery revenue is really going? As was supposed to go to education.
    GOP tea baggers want us, middle class, to make up for the zero or meager taxes paid by large corporations, the wealthy and our taxes given as incentives and refunds as well to them
    Those tax breaks incentives and refunds to the mega corporate have not created a job for the last 10 years and the results are here for us all to see 16% unemployment in some counties and at least 35 million out of work. Almost 50,000 factories moved overseas as slavery there is very profitable. Greed from the ones in control is destroying this country. Keep them ignorant and enslave them.

  5. snapperhead says:

    I applaud Ms. Conklin for her courage and willingness to pursue this. I hope that the other school board members in Flagler County and other Boards across this state will stand up with her to defend the students of this state. The state legislature and the Governor of Florida are not only not fulfilling their paramount duty to provide a high quality education for our public school students – they are choosing to turn their back on that duty. It is a shame – and they need to be held accountable for it – both in a lawsuit and at the polls!!!!

  6. Rob says:

    If lawsuit is the path to be taken would it be beneficial for counties to join and file suit?

  7. Will says:

    To “Dee”

    The Flagler Beach lawsuit is irrelevant to the school funding issue. A citizen does not give up his or her rights to equal treatment under the law just because he or she happens to be elected to a public office.

    Ms. Conklin is on the right track, I think, to pursue a lawsuit against the state for their weak funding of education in light of the constitutional mandate.

  8. palmcoaster says:

    Great suggestion Rob, for a further good move of Conklin. We all need to unite and do something against these abuses and support our community leaders that have the courage to take a stand.
    Peaceful revolt, petitions for recalls and the right vote at the ballot box. Why to target education cust only and the school boards salaries. Then lower all other constitutionally elected officials salaries as well, specially legislators, their aids and the governors.

  9. Stacey says:

    We need to hold the state accountable to paying for their mandates. I personally would love to see other counties join in, as they are also effected. SOMEONE has to stand up for these children. They are our future!

  10. ImMobile says:

    How about using the money that would be used for the lawsuit back into the education budget? Maybe the board should pay for the lawsuit out of their salaries? Perfect example of BS spending/temper tantrum!!

  11. Chris says:

    It is so encouraging to see a public figure in Flagler County stand up for education and children’s rights. Thank you Ms. Conklin, you have my support in filing this lawsuit.

  12. Penny says:

    I’m so proud that we have someone willing to make such bold comments publicly! Our government seems to be ignoring the educators, parents, and most of all the children! It’s a shame that legal action is perhaps the only way to make them listen. I fully support your idea, and I’m willing to help in any way I can.

  13. Dee says:

    Yes, Will….I agree. I never said what she was doing is wrong.

  14. dlf says:

    Ms. Conklin wants to bring a lawsuit to protect her $30,000-$35,000 job a year. This problem did not just happen in the last four months, Ms. Conklin has been in office for over ten years, where in the hell as she been? Lets have a workshop should have been done prior to this time,it is a little late now. Maybe a workshop to see if we need a school board at all, cost savings of over $150,000 a year. My question to Ms. Conklin is who will pay for this lawsuit, when and will it do the job she has failed to do. I hate to bring the truth to the surface but, Ms Conklin and the rest of the board have not done the job and should burden some of the blame for the condition of the school system she was working for. The other side of the coin we have allowed Ms. Conklin and the rest of the board to fail year after year after year.
    Now we have Mr. Palmcoast wanting to blame everyone and everything except the people who allowed this to happen, the voting public and the poor performance of the school board.. I ask Mr Palmcoast to tell me the 50,000 companies that have moved,but more important why, higher taxes non- union workers, less payroll less government restrictions?.

  15. Lin says:

    The members (long term) of the School Board need to take some responsiblity for the mess. New guy Fischer I believe suggested an across the board %age wage cut to save jobs — but it is kind of a late suggestion.

    I don’t know what a lawsuit would accomplish against our own state except perhaps some personal publicity for our county school board and $s down the drain. Should we squeeze the state so we will have to pay higher taxes to the State and make the State give more $ to the school district? Oh, and pay more legal fees on both ends? We are taxpayers in Florida and Flagler County.

    The School District isn’t a bottomless pit with $ and neither is the State of Fl. We can’t keep spending money we don’t have. I do think volunteer Boards are a better alternative.

  16. Costs involved? says:

    I’ve never filed nor been involved in a lawsuit, so forgive my ignorance. But here’s my question:

    If we have an attorney who is already employed by the school board, would there really be much in the way of legal fees if we did file this lawsuit? I don’t know anything about the filing fees and the like that may be incurred, but the actual legal fees? I would think we have that covered.

    Anyone care to enlighten me? Thanks!

  17. seaturtle33 says:

    I applaud this recommendation, fully and absolutely. Ms. Conklin has been involved with many projects in the past several years fighting for education and what she believes is best for our students and our schools. I think it is high time soneone steps forward and makes the statement that enough is enough. Our legislators are chipping away at the foundation of our school system each and every year, with dire consequences. We need to stand together and show Tallahassee that we value our schools and that our students matter.

  18. Lynn says:

    I aplaud Ms. Conklin for thinking outside of the box. I am passionately fighting for the funds to educate my children in the state of Michigan. The cuts to education are ridiculous and to blame your school board members for not doing their jobs is only valid if you have taken the time to stand up and be heard at board meetings or run for office against the current board. This is a changing time both politically and economically in the United States we must preserve the quality of education for our children and all of our future. Please take time to meet with your school board members, go to meetings and make your voice be heard.

  19. Chris Conklin says:

    I always find it amusing that people who think they know it all and have all the answers enjoy attacking people behind the name anonymous. So anonymous next time you have something to say please have the courage to sign your name as I did.

    • Flaglerlive says:

      Chris, in fairness to dlf, one of our regular commenters, his anonymous posting was unintentional–not his fault. On occasion the utility somehow slips out the name and when the commenter hits send, it’s too late. We were able to correct it from this end, with dlf’s approval.

  20. Lisa says:

    I think every county should sue

  21. Anne-Marie says:

    The biggest complaints I have heard from those within the Flagler public school system is not lack of funds. It’s the lack of organization with it’s convoluted practices. It’s the petty high school politics in the Teacher’s Lounge…not by the students, but by the teacher-cliques. Administrators and teachers alike are too proud to even consider ideas brought in my new teachers or people they won’t let into their little teacher circle. These people have driven off the innovative, the forward-thinking, the people who have solutions to the real problems in the public school system.

    Money is a facet, but it is not “the” problem. The system is broken. No matter how much money is thrown into it, if it’s broken, money won’t fix. It’s baffling to see that educators can’t seem to do the math on this.

  22. palmcoaster says:

    Sorry to have to stray from the education subject but maybe the links below will answer Anonymous ignorance and maybe after reading there, he will stop trying to distort facts.
    I am wondering if Anonymous ever had children in public schools or maybe he is so senile that have already forgotten about it, for the way he undermines our schools, board and teachers.

  23. palmcoaster says:

    Well, then my message to dfl..same old, same old ….lost case.

  24. pcteach says:

    Finally, someone willing to stand up and fight for our children. Local districts across the state should join together and fight the madness. For far too long school districts and administration have complied with ridiculous mandates and constraints forced by legislators—mandates and constraints that really don’t help your child— because legislators control the money. Force the legislators to fund education…not just education testing!

  25. Wendy Saugnovon says:

    Conklin suggests that the state should be sued for “not enough funding”, but it may well be that Conklin is the one that should be sued along with the school board for overly generous giveways to unions. She cites the Florida law re: a free, high quality education. All well and good. But there is nothing in the law that says the cost structure of the present school regime has to be maintained to achieve that goal.

    One of the reasons for strains in that cost structure is the giveaways Conklin and Co have been making for years. Flagler County teachers actually make a very good salary. One teacher with just a few years experience, makes as much as a family of four in Flagler County, as measured by median family income. On top of this are very generous benefits, a good pension plan, over 30 days off every year, civil service tenure protection, union contract protection, and the ability to choose their own bosses ultimately via the power to elect school board members. Florida’s senior teachers have it made. It’s the new teachers who are being shafted.

    One of the reason’s Flagler is in so much budget difficulty is that Conklin, and her fellow school board members, some elected with heavy union support, have over the years, been doling out and dishing out generous payoffs to the union, and in turn are rewarded with re-election. It’s the generous giveaways over the years, often obscured from Flagler taxpayers in employment agreements and policies enacted in detail behind the scenes. The public only sees a part of the iceberg.

    The state is in financial trouble, as is the nation due to a variety of structural factors as well as mismanagement in Washington. Why is it that pampered teachers, and the school boards they help elect should be exempt form the pain the rest of us feel? If Conklin is so concerned about funding, there is a very easy way to start: make a substantial cut to teacher salaries. This will provide a warchest of cash to meet essential areas. With the money saved, things like art, music, drama and all the other good programs we hear about can be saved.

    There is also no reason why the use of temporary teachers cannot be expanded to save money. Teachers with a lot of time in should be encouraged to retire, with golden parachute cash-outs, and the savings transferred to cheaper, temporary teachers. There is a surplus of people right now in Flagler chasing teaching jobs despite propaganda about “burned out people leaving the profession.” If they are burned out, fine. Go ahead and quit. Many advertised openings attract dozens or scores of applicants in Flagler. And this is certified people in Florida or experienced people from other states on their way to obtaining Florida certification. There are plenty of qualified people willing to go to work. The current workforce is too expensive and needs to have its cost reduced. Similar levels of services can be obtained by hiring cheaper workers, of which there is a qualified surplus locally. And there is no reason that administrative positions should not be pared back and monies (and bodies) freed shifted to the classroom. There is nothing sacred about the way Flagler has been doing business over the past few years.

    Yes, yes, some find the above “shocking.” But it is precisely what organizations in the real world have to do to survive, when faced with financing problems. They have to cut costs. The education establishment has been acting in concert for years to jointly build empires, and expand wages, benefits and perks.

    And yes, the standard mantra about “how hard we work” will be trotted out. But hard work is par for the course in numerous other professions, professions with much less job security and often lesser pay. Hard work? Welcome to the club. No one is doing nurses any favors these days. What makes the educational establishment feel they should get special treatment?

    Conklin notes that Flagler’s reserves, approved by voters via sales tax will help cushion any immediate blows. Fine. The voters have already propped up the establishment in the past. It is now time for the establishment to show the voters that it can get its bloated costs down and continue service to the children of Flagler County.

  26. DLF says:

    Wendy: well said., to the point ,with some suggestions on how to help solve the problems. More then we got from the current board. The board is looking at keeping their job, not solving the problems with action that will not get them reelected.

  27. DLF says:

    Ms. Conklin: No I do not know it all, not even half of the problem. I do know that if my performance or anyone who worked for me was like the performance of the current board, they would not not have a job. You have had 10 years to see these problem coming, you have has 10 years to take action to solve these problems. I cannot speak for your action for the first 2 years of your service but I have seen and been at meetings in last 8-9 years. I understand the problem of trying to do things in a manner that will keep you and the rest of the board employed,. Now is the time to start doing things that may not be popular or keep you in your current position It is time to take action that solves the problem popular or not. That is your job, lawsuits, blaming others will not cut it anymore.You must take the action needed to at least start to solve these issues, there is no tomorrows for the children.

  28. Gayle says:

    I am so proud that we have a school board member willing to stand for students and education professionals in Flagler County! Thank you Coleen!

  29. Lin says:

    Wendy, you’ve hit many points that are soooo true.

    We, too, know teachers looking to get hired and cannot find full time jobs.

    Teachers need to get real — and so does the School Board. Education is suffering here and throwing more money at lawsuits and fighting for tenure and raises and refusing contributions to pensions and benefits will not help our kids. When are the teachers and administrators & School Board going to sit down and figure out how to use the resources they have to educate our children instead of demonstrating against the taxpayer and threatening to sue. Weren’t our School Board members attending demonstrations instead of working to find solutions to the shortfall?

    Seems like they are all in bed with each other and damn the taxpayer and damn the kids.

  30. Lynn says:

    My question for you is would you like to a temporary teachers educating your children? What I am gaining from your comment is that having a teacher that is established and grounded in your district is no longer necessary? I for one would be dead set against temporary teachers because there would be no consistent ciriculum or programs as teachers would be coming and going because they were temporary.
    I also question the salary comments do you not respect the fact that teachers are highly educated and deserve their pay? All the teachers I know don’t leave their jobs when the kids leave the building they have a couple hours of papers to grade, projects to set up, commitees to attend to, so their days in the building might be shorter than those in the corporate world but they work long hours during the school year. Do you question the bankers and the CEO’s of the “Big three automotive companies” that we bailed out? Probably not but your tax dollars paid their salaries as well.

  31. Dorothea says:

    Wendy, if the nurses don’t like the way their profession is being treated, maybe they should organize a union instead of picking a fight with teachers. You are doing exactly what the powers that be in government want. You seem to have forgotten that money taken from education went to tax breaks for corporations and the ultra wealthy. Yet, instead of fighting against tax breaks for corporations and the ultra rich, you pick a fight with another profession within the the middle class.

  32. Dorothea says:

    I fully support Ms. Conklin’s effort to sue the state for violating the Consitutions of both the state of Florida and the United States. This potential lawsuit is not about getting money, it is about seeking justice and the right of public school students to get what the Constitution has mandated they should receive. If the state of Florida flagrantly violates this right, then it is up to the citizens to seek redress of this grievance..

  33. J.J. Graham says:

    I support Coleen, she is a dedicated Mother and she works really hard on more than one front to make this communitty a better place for our children, she like so many others involved deserves to be able to provide for herself and her family. It’s always the same with these guys like Scott, they go after teachers, law enforcement, fireman, and the people who can barely make a living as it is. It’s robbing the poor to pay the rich, it’s sadistic. Meanwhile lets build some more golf courses and have medicaid privatized so Scott can make more profit from the business he put in his wife’s name before he went into office. This guy is a crook. Mark my words this guy will screw us all before it’s all said and done. I say we throw a boom box on our shoulder blare some “Walk like an Egyptian” and march his ass right out of office. This country is going to s@$! because of coporate sewer rat’s like him, not because of overpaid teacher’s and schoolboard officials.

  34. Scott for President, ( Lincoln or Kennedy) says:

    Who wouldn’t want a well qualified, educated & motivated educator to be well compensated? Hmmm. Remember this ditty: garbage in=garbage out?

    A warchest of cash won’t supplant years of unfunded mandates, NCLB , class size, etc PERIOD Flagler’s school system is one of the best in the state if my figures are correct. Greatness, like freedom, isn’t free, it costs, one costs blood daily. I’d like to see the other 66 school dsitricts sue.

    This is how F’d up we are: the US is still subsidizing the oil industries and they’re doing just fine. The focus isn’t on the middle class folks.

  35. DLF says:

    J.J. Graham: you may be right but the guy has only been in office for a few months. My bet is if we were talking about Obama in this case we would be hearing,” give the guy a break he as only been in office for two years, he did not make these problems”. Some of the problems Scott has were well on the way to being a problem before he took office. Let’s give the guy a shot as cleaning up a mess that a lot of others should have seen coming. I agree with you on some of Scott’s past but I think we need to support him if he shows some degree of success. I don’t see how we can place 100% of the blame on Scott, the school boards said this coming and did nothing but try to blame everyone and everything else. Lets hold some of these people ‘s feet to the fire…for a change.

  36. palmcoaster says:

    Wendy Saugnovon should save her litany of advise instead directed to our GOP tea baggers and tell them to properly tax the big corporations at least to the 35% that were taxed in the 50’s and not the 9% to zero of today. Also have the wealthy to contribute at the same rate that we, middle class are taxed. How this woman has the nerve to advise further saving policies for our education system when the 1% does not contribute the billions needed in our budgets. We have a revenue problem here and further squeezing the workers no matter for whom they work and the middle class won’t make it. Who could have the moronic thought that laying off more teachers and workers will resolve our financial crisis and will save us in taxes. Don’t you know that the largest federal budget revenue unfortunately now comes form the income and payroll tax we all contribute? Just because the corporate tax is almost nil? Never mind the tax incentives, refunds and breaks for the oil and other lords. Why doesn’t Wendy advocates in DC to stop these useless wars that we can’t afford at 9 billion plus a month? Maybe because she is into Imagining more privatization too? Just a case of p….at the wrong tree.

  37. palmcoaster says:

    To dfl ..lets go Wisconsin style and sign petitions to change our Fl constitution and Recall Scott.

  38. palmcoaster says:

    Hooray for Graham! Lets sign petitions to change our Florida constitution to Recall Scott. Is working in Wisconsin just fine with the other “Scott”.

  39. teacher86 says:

    Wendy, you obviously do not have experience in public education. I hear the standard, “Yeah, teachers work hard, but so does everyone else. They are replaceable.” If you spend five minutes in a challenging Title 1 school you would know that experience matters and that NOT everyone in the world can do this job. Suggesting “temporary teachers” is a horrible idea. 1) There is no motivation for them to work hard and make learning gains with students with the knowledge that it is a temporary gig. 2) It is a fact that experience strengthens a teacher’s skills (classroom management as well as knowledge of the content).

    I teach first grade and work in an extremely challenging area, but love every minute because I know I am making a difference. I had a student who didn’t feel like doing his reading today so he just went over to the computers and started playing. I can’t touch him. All I can do is politely ask him to do his job. When he decides not to, and decides to start growling at me and jumping over other students who are trying to work on the floor, there is nothing I can do. Our principal was busy so the rest of us were left to deal with this distraction. I don’t know too many adults out there that would willingly deal with situations that arise like this all day every day. Not to mention the other 18 students that you are trying to teach, address needs of, etc. Not to mention many uninvolved parents that you spend most mornings and evenings trying to get a hold of to discuss grades, behavior, etc.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. But I get SO tired of people pretending as though educators are not a valuable asset. Florida better be careful about their lack of respect for their educators and paying them the worst salary in the nation…no decent ones are going to be willing to stick around. I suggest you do your research about what teachers ACTUALLY do and put up with. We are not glorified babysitters and I suggest you take a trip to one of the local Title 1 schools to watch and gain some knowledge!

  40. Liana G says:

    To: teacher 86

    “Florida better be careful about their lack of respect for their educators and paying them the worst salary in the nation…no decent ones are going to be willing to stick around. I suggest you do your research about what teachers ACTUALLY do and put up with. We are not glorified babysitters and I suggest you take a trip to one of the local Title 1 schools to watch and gain some knowledge!”

    Well I’m certainly glad none of my kids are in YOUR class!!

    You know I actually had a very interesting and insightful conversation with a middle school teacher earlier today . Here’s is what she had to say: ‘teachers today have to be more than teachers because the family dynamics are not the same, we have students already burdened with the responsibility of taking care of themselves because both parents work. We have students who lack discipline and focus because of excessive distractions; and we as teachers need to step up/in and do what we can not only for the benefit of these students, but for the contribution that they will ultimately make to our society that will affect us all.

    You, are in the wrong field. Please do us a favor and remove yourself!

  41. teacher86 says:

    Liana, you are exactly proving my point. I was stating that people need to quit treating us like glorified babysitters because we do SO much more than that. I am a mother to these children, a nurse, an educator, a cheerleader, etc. It is sickening how much we are underpaid in the first place, and now the government is further going after our hard earned wages. I encourage visitors to my classroom at all time because I have nothing to hide. I am a great educator, patient, and work my butt off to make sure these children get the education they deserve. I’ve got to because the government sure isn’t showing them that they are cared about by slashing their education and my salaries…not to mention testing them to death! I wish that I could “remove all distractions” as you say, but when that distraction is a child or a parent, I don’t quite have the luxury. In addition, thank you for your input by claiming that I am “in the wrong field,” but if you asked any one of my students’ parents or my administrators they would say otherwise. I was simply pointing out the lack of respect that people like you have for us. Again, thank you for making that abundantly clear.

    In the meantime, praying for all the students and teachers in Florida…we’re going to need it!

  42. Liana G says:

    You’re quite welcome!

    Remember there’s is always a part of us that is revealed to others that we are unaware of. And you have done that.

    Yes, I would like to ask your administrator, and peers, and the parents of students you so openly put down in your post.

    To be a teacher is to be a GLORIFIED babysitter, one of the many, many roles of this profession. And since you havn’t figured that out, you are in the wrong field!

  43. Teachers Aren't Babysitters says:

    Liana G, babysitters are allowed to discipline, teachers have very little freedom in the way they can deal with the rare problem that may arise from time to time.

    I bet you got hit several times by your teacher to keep you in line, that sort of discpline is out the window.

    To be a teacher is not a to be a glorified babysitter, it is to prepare them for the upcoming FCAT and thats it.

  44. thinkforyourself says:

    “To be a teacher is to be a GLORIFIED babysitter, one of the many, many roles of this profession. And since you havn’t figured that out, you are in the wrong field!”

    With all due respect Liana you have lost ALL credibility in your comments. Teachers are not glorified babysitters. It is a noble profession that should be treated as such. Really – shameful and sad.

  45. Liana G says:

    I am a mother, a GLORIFIED homemaker, scully maid, teacher, plumber, banker, accountant, cheerleeder, mechanic, taxi driver, motivational coach, fitness instructor, manager, decorator, nurse, shrink, gardner, sanitation worker, personal shopper, fashion consultant, cook, seamstress, school volunteer, community volunteer, care giver, comfort provider, mediator, in addition to the all many others hats I wear that I can’t think of. Shame on me?

    I wear these hats proudly because I want to wear them. And I can tell you from my experience and children’s experience in school systems that the many OUTSTANDING and EXCELLENT teachers that are out there have had to fill the role of GLORIFIED babysitter, because to be a GLORIFIED teacher one also has to be a caring individual. For many kids out there, sometimes the school is they only place that they receive any sort of humane and nurturing contact from individuals.

  46. teacher86 says:

    Hmmm…Liana G I was unaware that I put my students or administration down. I stated a fact that students and parents both can be occasional distractions and I stated that teaching is NOT an easy/respected career. If you could read, you would notice that the only person I put down was you for your lack of respect for the teaching profession. It is people like you that make our jobs very challenging. Until you watch me teach, you have no right to call me a poor teacher because you don’t have the slightest clue what that entails (made obvious by your previous posts). So sad.

  47. Liana G says:

    To: teacher 86

    “Florida better be careful about their lack of respect for their educators and paying them the worst salary in the nation…no decent ones are going to be willing to stick around. I suggest you do your research about what teachers ACTUALLY do and put up with. We are not glorified babysitters and I suggest you take a trip to one of the local Title 1 schools to watch and gain some knowledge!’

    “Not to mention many uninvolved parents that you spend most mornings and evenings trying to get a hold of to discuss grades, behavior, etc. ………………….
    Hmmmm . . . maybe it’s because those parents are bogged down in multiple jobs in order to survive and provide food and shelter etc, etc. Maybe these kids have no parents and if they do maybe their parents were exposed to teachers like you so they never learned compassion and common courtesy; maybe the parents of these parents had teachers like you too, and the parents of their parents and so on and so on. . . . . . . . . . . I have great admiration and respect for those teachers that are deserving.

    Florida better be careful?????? No you better be careful because your attitude is going to get you out the door and it’s not because you are a decent teacher.

    “I suggest you do your research about what teachers ACTUALLY do and put up with.” Where do you get the audacity?

    “I suggest you take a trip to one of the local Title 1 schools to watch and gain some knowledge!’ – –
    I hope not from you! But I am sure they are some incredibly dedicated and inspiring teachers there to model what outstanding teachers are made of.

    And by the way self praise is no praise!

  48. teacher86 says:

    P.S. Since you don’t seem to get it, people are getting upset with you for calling teachers “glorified babysitters” because that term insinuates that babysitting is the only thing we are good for. That is what I meant by the comment when I said it. Today, that is what most people think that we are and therefore think that anyone can do our job. If you read anyone’s posts, you would see that we are saying that we do SO much more than simply babysit or simply teach.

  49. ngalloway86 says:

    I am done arguing with the ignorant. The “self praise” you speak of is because you attacked me as a teacher. I know the truth as well as my students, parents, and administrators. That’s all I need to feel confident in my skills. I don’t need a clueless, out of touch person’s praise. I stand by my statement that Florida needs to be careful about how they treat teachers as well as any public workers. These workers are going to take their talents elsewhere because of thankless, rude people like yourself. Congratulations for contributing to the failure of Florida. I am done with this ridiculous arguement because some people just can’t/refuse to see the light. Hope you enjoy our new governor. It’s only a matter of time before he takes what is near and dear to you. (For me that was my hope of being treated like/paid as a professional and being able to actually help the students of Florida by providing them the education they deserve).

  50. ignorancecosts says:

    Great. Are taxpayers are going to foot the bill for the school board to sue our Governor and our Legislature? Will the taxpayers have to pay damages if the school board wins?

    Education is funded enough. If we would get rid of the top level bureaucracy, get the Federal Government and the Department of Education out of our local schools, we would do just fine. The parents and teachers know what is best
    for their community’s students. All of these ‘mandates’ are just red tape, obviously doing no good when you look at the results of the students scores, the work load of the teachers, over the past 15 years or so.

    As far as the teacher’s Unions go? As long as they abide by the same rules and regulations as non-profits must follow with their donations and contributions, and the teachers have the say-so as to where their dues go politically, and it stays private, fine.

    We appreciate our teachers, but cuts are going to have to be made across the board in our country, in every area of government. If we don’t do it now, it ‘s only going to get much worse. Think Greece, France, etc. Teachers know more than most, you can’t keep spending money that isn’t there. The taxpayer’s can’t keep footing the bill for the government sector programs, nor to buy votes for the politicians. Someone is going to have to do the hard decisions. That takes a leader. Not a politician.

  51. Joe says:

    Ignorancecoast says:
    Great. Are taxpayers are going to foot the bill for the school board to sue our Governor and our Legislature? Will the taxpayers have to pay damages if the school board wins?

    I believe the answer to your question is yes!!! Txpayers will also be covering the Govenor’s and Legislatures bills as well. A real thought out, lose, lose situation!!!!!

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