CHARTER SCHOOL MAGNATE IN THE MAKING JOHN LEGG IS POUNDING PUBLIC SCHOOLS AGAIN
Ol’ Johnny is at it again. Jeff Solochek, the perennial PR man for all anti-public education politicians, ran a story yesterday about Johnny’s latest crusade against public schools. Johnny is slippery-shrewd, and is an expert at political subterfuge. He always arrives costumed up as a pro-kid, pro-education public servant.
To make a short story shorter, now that the October FTE window has passed and the numbers are in, Johnny has suddenly decided to go after districts that are “misapplying” Florida’s class size rules.
Johnny is quite the character. Just a few years ago he was crusading against class size rules. Back in September of 2010, puppy training paper maker the Tampa Bay Times gave Johnny the bullhorn as a guest columnist and ran a piece titled, State Rep. John Legg seeks support for higher class size limits in schools, in which Johnny made an impassioned plea to us peasants to support Amendment 8, which would have supposedly mitigated some of the worst damage to schools that not funding the constitutional class size amendment has caused.
It seems he’s had a change of heart. Apparently he’s figured out that the constitutional limits on class size can be manipulated to cause great financial stress on already strapped school districts, thereby hastening the demise of public education in Florida.
Johnny is a smooth talkin’ suit changer. Funny thing is, Johnny owns a charter school company that more than likely will directly benefit if the “school of choice” loophole at issue is closed.
The issue is not a complicated one. The lower the class size limit, the more teachers and classrooms you need. The problem with the class size amendment is that, like most mandates from the crony legislature in Tallahassee, it hasn’t been funded.
Districts have been left to scrounge for change in their sofas and behind their car seats in order to avoid fiscal collapse. Repeated appeals for redress of the unintended (?) consequences of the law have fallen on deaf ears in the capitol’s corridors.
Now, Johnny smells blood. He knows better than most of his legislative lackeys and fellow hooligans that school districts across Florida have only now begun to recover from the crushing economic downturn six or seven years ago. If the legislature forces them to comply now by closing the “school of choice” loophole, they simply will be unable to pay the cost of complying.
The politicking pilferers will then magically find money to pay for vouchers for the overflow of students from underfunded and overcrowded public school districts to attend charters, more than a few of which are owned by the very legislators so eager to pass onerous laws intended to destroy Florida’s public schools, all so they can pocket public money. These are the same guys and gals who have failed to adequately fund the public schools they say are failing.
This ain’t rocket science folks. It’s chicanery in its purest form. It’s Johnny in usual form. We can all be sure that whatever ideas he comes up with are the product of ulterior motives. By now, we should have no doubt whatsoever about what drives this man.
This isn’t the first time Fast Johnny has tried to pull the wool on unsuspecting and largely naive Florida voters. I’ve written a couple little diatribes about him already. One of my very first posts was about him, back in February. I just put another one together a couple of weeks ago that should convince just about anyone that this guy is no good. He’s justifiably found his way into the cast of several more of my posts as well. He’s a crooked worm who has bored his way into Florida’s public education system just to destroy it for profit.
I am not a proponent of large classes. I am a realist. By mandating small classes and then allowing the capital cronies to use those mandates to destroy public school districts through anemic funding, the voters of Florida have unwittingly played right into the hands of those who want public schools to go away forever. That is the truth.
If John Legg succeeds in closing the schools of choice loophole, then all stakeholders need to demand that the rotten bastards in the Florida legislature stop flouting decency itself and fund the schools at a level that enables them to comply with the mandate.