Since it is a presidential election year, people feel that Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on anything. Therefore, I thought I should add that I am a registered Democrat and Dr. Maria Peiro is a registered Republican. Yet, we both agree that giving our school board $1.2 BILLION dollars to play with is a very bad idea. In fact, it’s a road we don’t want taken by anyone.
This is her take on it. Love to know your thoughts.
Dr. Maria Peiro:
I will be voting NO and have told everyone to vote NO. There are still many underenrolled schools that could be closed and many other things that could be done to release money to fix the rest of the schools. The Miami Dade County Public School board wants to raise taxes the cowardly way. Put it on the referendum and if it passes, then it was the voters who voted for it. However, the voters are mostly misinformed about this. The school board members have wasted lots of capital improvement money that was previously given to them by the state. They have had flexibility in moving money from the general budget to the capital budget, and they have done so. Where did that money go?Another point that needs to be spotlighted, I think what Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, the School Board, and Principals are doing to promote the bond referendum is ILLEGAL. They are using school resources to push people to vote yes for the referendum. Since that is something that is on the ballot, then it’s a political issue. Therefore, if they are advertising on the dadeschools website (I saw it many times in the teacher portal), sending out e-mails to employees (I received several e-mails), making tv and radio commercials, etc. they are using district resources.If that is the case, then, they are using district resources to create political advertisements. Let’s put it this way. If I as a teacher and employee of MDCPS am against the referendum, I would have to either create a PAC or put money from my own pocket to advertise against it. Wouldn’t I?I wouldn’t be able to just go to the dadeschools website and put my own advertisement or send out e-mails via dadeschoools telling people to vote NO. I wouldn’t be able to put a sign outside my classroom telling people to vote No, etc. Dade school employees are not allowed to engage in political activities during school hours or use district resources for political activities. So, how is it legal for Carvalho and others to do it?Just because they are in favor of the referendum passing, doesn’t exempt them from the law. The law doesn’t state that if they are in favor of something that is going to help schools that it is okay to engage in political activities or using district resources to push for it. I really think that they are breaking the law.By the way, my Principal has a political advertisement on the school’s markee. It tells people to vote #222 for the referendum. That’s illegal, I am sure. I’m also sure that she didn’t think of it herself. That directive has to be coming from higher up. Yet, I’m not allowed to put a sign on school grounds telling people to vote NO or to vote in favor of a candidate. This also applies to the Principal whether it is believed to be a noble cause for the school or not.
- Media specialists and teachers are being surplussed which means that they are removed from the school but not fired. Supposedly, it is due to low enrollments in the schools yet, the number of administrators remains the same. So where do these surplussed teachers go? Many are being told to teach in areas in which they have no experience or certification. Yes, that’s right! Kids are being taught by uncertified teachers. Electives are being eliminated little by little, drop by drop so no one notices until the glass is empty. By the way, if schools are under enrollment, why make plans to build new schools?
- Students are being told that they must take virtual classes in lieu of a real human being who can be there to answer their questions, monitor their progress and ensure that they receive quality education. You don’t even want to know how many students are being crammed into these “computer labs”. Some students are learning physical education in a virtual class. Don’t you find that bizarre? We want students to exercise and reduce risk of obesity so we give them gym class on a computer!
- Now they are asking the tax payers to give them more money to do whatever they want with in the name of quality education. There is never any form of transparency. Teachers haven’t had their contracts honored because the school board cries a poor mouth or threatens us with layoffs if they were to honor that contract. The United Teachers of Dade won’t stand up for us as well. Please don’t think we are like Chicago. We wish we had a union as strong as the one in Chicago.
1232 – POLITICAL ACTIVITIES
Administrative staff members shall not participate in any political campaign for an elective office while on duty.
Administrative staff who declare themselves candidates for an elective office shall notify the Superintendent immediately upon filing to run. All candidates for public office may be granted personal leave without pay. The administrative staff member’s request for leave shall be submitted according to the established procedure.
Candidates shall adhere strictly to Florida law governing political activity on the part of public officials and public employees.
F.S. 104.31, 110.233
F.A.C. 60L-36.0023232 – POLITICAL ACTIVITIES
So you know, each school is responsible for making copies with the paper, copy machine, toner, ink and personnel that comes from TAX PAYER’S taxes!
This is the link to the state rules. http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2010/104.31
Here are a few of the schools in violation of Florida statue 104.31