I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Elected Officials (and Appointed Superintendents) Must Follow the Law!

Recently several Florida public School Districts willfully violated state law. Floridians enacted a constitutional amendment limiting class-sizes, and in 2010, an attempted modification was defeated.
Voters have twice spoken; they want small class sizes, and elected leaders must follow the law – whether or not they agree with such laws personally.
School funding is equalized, and no district is fully funded for compliance with class size; ironically, the state’s “penalty” for noncompliance actually incentivizes disobedience! The “penalty” takes a chunk of money from, then rebates the lion’s share right back to, these non compliant districts – after such districts pencil-whip a promise to “do better.”
It’s a farce and unfair to districts that comply.
Here’s a solution: Instead of a toothless “penalty” for non compliant districts (whether they overtly disobey, or whether, like others locally, they “tried” but could not meet the mandate – saving $1.1 million and paying the $54,000 penalty) – don’t penalize offending districts financially.
Instead, penalize the offending district superintendent and School Board members 10 percent of their salary until they “try harder” and actually comply! This way, students and taxpayers of offending districts are not punished for the compliance failures of their elected leaders.