Thank you to Richard Corcoran and the Florida Department of Education for having the backbone to do what’s right for taxpayers. Yes, the easy thing to do as cases with the virus spike, is what we’re seeing once again in many school districts across the country. Shut schools down and go to online-only education options. Already about half of students and teachers in Florida are doing this and it’s how we reacted to the pandemic originally. Additionally, it’s the safe thing to do to get good press as most news media outlets laud shutdowns and government mandates whenever and wherever they take place.
Conversely, news media in conjunction with their friends and political allies in the teacher’s unions, which sued to try to prevent any classroom education from happening in the first place, will vilify you endlessly for allowing education options for parents and students. What you’ve chosen to do is the path of most resistance but also what’s right for the people you work for, Floridians. Which once again necessarily indicates that the call by teachers’ unions, from the Florida Education Association to the Union Teachers of Dade, pits them against the taxpayers they work for as well.
First and foremost, the Florida Department of Education has been flexible regarding classroom education. The only mandate is for it to be an option for parents and students. Not that it’s the only option. This has provided an opportunity for families to make decisions they feel are best for their families while providing an opportunity for at-risk teachers to teach in an online environment. In the real world that’s called pragmatism. In the world of government jobs with public sector unions collectively bargaining against the taxpayers, they work for, it’s intolerable. I said this at the onset of the school year, and I’ll say it again now. If the teacher’s unions want to shut the schools down. Fine. Show us the money. The cost savings for Florida’s Virtual School is about 40%, or $450 dollars per pupil per month. If you don’t want to offer the classroom education we’ve already paid for, refund us the difference. I’m sure the average South Florida household could benefit from being refunded hundreds of dollars per month for the education they paid for but wouldn’t be receiving. And it’s not just about the money. A recent study showed 64% of kids have been learning less in the online only environment. It’s interesting how the teacher’s unions care so much about the education of our children until they decide they don’t in a pandemic. That’s hypocritical but it’s actually also.
In every other aspect of life if one pays for a product or service but it’s not provided, it’s called fraud. Any private company would be put out of business and its principals arrested for taking payment for services that aren’t provided. Funny, when it’s taxpayer money and government-run schools; it isn’t? Except it is whether it’s ever prosecuted as such. In fact, it’s worse than most private-sector fraud. The most prominent way schools and teachers are paid for is through our property taxes. This is a form of fraud in which non-payment to those attempting to perpetrate the fraud results in the loss of your home. So yes, thank you Richard Cohran and the FDOE. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as well! I'll continue to fight for you.