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.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Here's Your Answer Jim

Former school district employee and frequent School Board meeting attendee Jim Nims has a question.  He's asked it of me a few times, at a few separate meetings now so I thought I'd go ahead and do him the courtesy of responding.

Knowing I'm a conservative that supports school choice, Nims apparently finds it amusing to take jabs at me and make snide, crass remarks about me.  recently he has repeated a question over and over,  asking:

"If the District 1 Board member has sent a letter to Newpoint asking for the taxpayer's money back." 

Jim---The answer to that question is No.  I did better than that.

You see, there is more to the story than just answering your question with a "NO", Jim. 

Let me explain it for you, let me break it down for you Jim so that you might understand the issue. 

You see, I support charter schools so when the allegations surrounding Newpoint, a school I strongly supported before all the misconduct was alleged, arose in March---I took the issue seriously.  
Unlike others who knew of the same allegations and stood by and did NOTHING, I went to red alert,

 asked some questions of people who were in the know, heard from several whistle-blowers, and then
 immediately decided to take the whole mess to the State Attorney's Office within DAYS of first learning of the misconduct that had occurred for going on a year,  (I know that's a lot  of information in one sentence, Jim, but that's what I did.)  

(This alleged misconduct was never relayed to the School Board and I felt there was more than enough to go on to justify taking this to the SAO--so that's what I did Jim.)

Jim, here is what  you need to know:

1.  I support charter schools but I also am a law and order guy and I won't stand by and allow unsatisfactory situations to linger to avoid messy headlines/investigations.  I'll do what is right instantaneously and if allegations of misconduct appear legitimate, there will be no hesitation--I'll immediately act to protect student safety and taxpayer money.  That is what I did.

2.  Although some in the district were furious with my decision to go the the SAO with the Newpoint issue in March, going even so far as saying "You are wrong about these allegations, and you will be proven so with emphasis"  I still went.  The SAO took the issue up and began investigating immediately, leading to a month's long investigation that has already led to several careers at Newpoint ending, four schools being closed, and one person being arrested (so far) as the investigation continues.

No, Jim, I didn't ask for a check.  I didn't ask for permission.  I didn't ask for approval.  I didn't ask for anything from anyone---all I did was give the issue to multiple law enforcement agencies for them to look at.  

Jim--If the allegations are all true, when this whole mess ends these law enforcement agencies won't be "asking" for refund checks either.  

I'd suspect they'll seize whatever is owed and throw some people in jail along the way.

That's the way this works Jim, this is the answer to your question about what Jeff Bergosh did.


Anonymous said...

You don't have to be mean to the guy, Jeff. You seem very irked.

Anonymous said...

As a parent, I'm irked that one of the only school board members who seem to have the gall to stand up to the establishment and isn't afraid of being politically correct all of the time or stepping on toes is mocked and laughed at for being a proponent of school choice. The Newpoint situation turned out to be a fiasco, sure- but tell me how it differs from Warrington Middle School which I still pay taxes for and Malcolm and Friends keep throwing my money at. The fact that anyone finds any of this laughable when the education of our children is at stake frankly makes me want to cry. I appreciate Mr. Mims for his service to our country and his willingness to speak up at the school board meetings and at local events but he is dead wrong on the school choice issue. Escambia County children need an alternative to what they are offered at their zoned schools.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Jeff. I'm just poking a little fun at you. I watch the Board meetings and workshops and I'm very familiar with Mr. Mims. He's a funny little man.

Speaking of Warrington Middle, I'm a little behind on my watching - tell me, did the one year turnaround solution at Warrington get funded for a second year?

Jeff Bergosh said...

Anonymous--He is always bashing, and I guess that just gets old--especially when he hits us for things that are not the fault of the schools, but are societal/family issues.... And oh, by the way, the board did approve the second year of the one year turnaround, 4-1, and I voted against it. And I have every confidence that next year at this time the board will be lobbied once again to support a continuation of this $500K + duplication of administration at Warrington, even as that schools population continues to dwindle and the facility is only just over 50% occupied. We continue to put massive resources into that school, we're told it is getting better. I guess we will see.