The School Board of Sarasota County is pushing for the extension of a 1 mill tax on all county property holders on March 25th. They are using school funds to lobby in favor of and promote the 1 mill tax. Has anyone asked if this is legal?
According to their official Report on the Uses of Referendum Funds since 2002, “This vote allows the District to maintain existing programs, provide additional programs and continue the District’s commitment to quality education.” But is the District really committed to a “quality education”?
Scott Ferguson, Communications Specialist Sarasota County Schools, states in an email:
The Sarasota County School District has been implementing the Common Core Standards per Florida Department of Education requirements and timetable. We are in full implementation in grades K-2. The current 2013-14 school year is a “blended year” for grades 3-12 (a combination of Common Core and the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards). Full implementation is scheduled for all grades for the 2014-15 school year. Again, this is all according to the state schedule and requirements.
As you may be aware, the Florida Board of Education is considering adopting some changes to the Common Core Standards, including changes in handwriting and math standards. If adopted, the proposed revised standards will likely be referred to as the Florida Standards, since they will depart from the Common Core Standards in these and other areas.
What Ferguson does not say is that the District can opt-out of Common Core, as did thirty school districts in New York. Parents, teachers, educators and concerned citizens see Common Core as anything but a “quality education.”
Terrence O. Moore, an assistant professor of history at Hillsdale College, states, “The Common Core Standards control the testing and curriculum of public schools and a large number of private schools in over forty states in the nation. Sold to the public as a needed reform, the Common Core nationalizes absurdity, superficiality, and political bias in the American classroom. As a result, the great stories of a great nation are at risk, along with the minds and souls of our children.”
Brenda Pastoric in an op-ed titled “The Price of Human Capital” states:
The new business relationship our leaders of Sarasota schools are now promoting CRADLE TO CAREER sounds very promising for the uninformed public and unsuspecting parents, especially in today’s stagnant workforce climate. While we can agree that not every child is college bound, students will lead productive lives either through our excellent vocational education, ROTC, the Military Academy, Booker’s Visual Arts programs and others omitted here. But when “focus groups” such as the Chamber of Commerce and public-private partnerships are created and the “right people” like the CEO of Sun Hydraulics’ speaks of a “formula” and all are “collaborating” with our school officials who state they cannot “do it alone” and looking at “talent” in the fifth grade through data mining, we should be alarmed.
This early, progressive and socialistic labeling from all fronts is not a new phenomenon. History teaches us that mining for human capital by governments or government-corporate partnerships have been a hallmark for some of the most repressive societies. With unfunded mandates to states, during President Bill Clinton’s 1994 School-To-Work act, federal controls and performance-based education were implemented in local schools at the earliest possible age for every American worker to choose careers by Workforce Development Boards, formed to study which labor skills were needed in each state to determine “human resources” training requirements. Then we saw President Bush with “No Child Left Behind” and his 2001 Executive Order “21st Century Workforce Initiative”.
It’s time to wake up as the 1% surtax referendum draws near, and elected officials and parents call for more $, we may be subsidizing the human capital for government and corporations with our children.
Early voting on the 1 mill referendum began on March 10th. Perhaps voters should consider if they want their tax dollars supporting the implementation of Common Core in Sarasota County public Schools.