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Accountability and transparency

Updated: Dec 18, 2022

The legislative session has begun and legislators need to get their proposed bills submitted soon.

  • Please recommend suggestions to your legislator such as the one I mention in this blog post: https://www.jacksonvillenow.org/post/please-write-your-state-representative-1 It is about our tax dollars and publicly funded charter and voucher funded private schools.

  • Please consider watching this 11 minute YouTube video as to why this is important: https://youtu.be/33frfTxTMZA

  • Please consider reading this article about voucher funded private schools of poor quality: https://billytownsend.substack.com/p/cough-up-the-voucher-data-florida

  • Please always consider why a legislator is creating a rule for only the district-run schools; why is it not being applied to the other publicly funded schools if it is a good rule? Is the legislator actually trying to harm the district-run school by burdensome rules? If it is a good rule, shouldn't it apply to all publicly funded schools? Why not allow the district school board to make flexible decisions as the charter school boards are allowed to do? I offer as examples these suggestions: 1. All publicly funded schools (district-run, charter, and voucher funded) should be required to put their course curriculum on the internet for taxpayers to review. My understanding is that currently this is only required of the district-run schools. Shouldn’t taxpayers be made aware of what their tax money is paying for? 2. All publicly funded schools should be required to publish their rules regarding guns in the schools. Currently the district and the charter schools must have someone with a gun in their schools. Charter and districts are allowed to make a decision as to whether that person is a police officer, a school resource officer, or a staff member who has other duties. The district school board makes public their decision. The charter and private schools should at least notify parents IF staff members are allowed to carry guns into the schools. There is research indicating that staff carrying guns into the schools does NOT make the school safer and parents should be made aware of this. Here's a couple of articles about it:

Armed adults frequently mishandle their guns in schools. Keeping kids safe means keeping guns off K-12 campuses.

For years, the gun lobby has pushed policies to arm teachers and allow other adults to carry guns on K-12 campuses. Arming teachers is an incredibly unpopular proposition, opposed by seven out of ten teenagers, eight out of ten teachers, and seven out of ten parents. And for good reason.

To prevent tragedies we must implement strong school safety solutions, but arming teachers is not one of them.

Having access to a gun in the classroom increases the likelihood that a student will access a gun and that someone will be shot outside of an active shooter incident. Schools are places for books and backpacks, not weapons. Instead, we need proven solutions that are backed by data, and that intervene before violence occurs.

Thanks, Susan Aertker Chair of the education committee for the Jacksonville chapter of the National Organization for Women

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