Monday, December 7, 2015

The Cost Of Competition

Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School is located next door in Hadley with a new $10 million building expansion

Besides the half hearted threat from Shutesbury to create chaos with the funding mechanism for next year's Regional Budget by voting down the current assessment method, the other -- even more stunning -- thing to come out of the Four Towns meeting on Saturday was the negative impact Charter School competition will have on next year's budget.

FY2017 Charter Tuition projected increase is $493,650 as the number of Regional students attending Charter schools escalates by 10, going from the current 93 up to 103 at an average cost of around $20,000 each.

Last year total cost of Charter/Vocational/Choice students opting out of ARPS was $2.6 million; this coming year it is projected to increase to $3.1 million.

 Kathy Mazur, Sean Mangano, Maria Geryk at Four Towns meeting

The anticipated budget gap for a level services budget next year is $460,000 which is way better than the $900,000  gap we were looking at last year around this same time.

But that entire amount could be covered if we were not losing an additional $493,650 in Charter School payouts.

Superintendent Maria Geryk freely admitted to the Four Towns meeting that "Charter Schools are the driving force for our our budget going up."  And, she added ominously,  "The Charter cap statewide may be lifted.  If so, we will suffer."

Click to enlarge/read
Budget projected to increase 3.4%.  Amherst Finance Committee recommendation to town departments is max of 2.5%

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

How is our school district supposed to engage in long-range planning for infrastructure, staffing, etc. when students can leave at any time, and take our local tax dollars with them?

And does our local Chinese charter school indoctrinate children into Communism?

It seems to me all of this is un-American. Public schools were good enough for everyone in my day. Only the rich and the Catholics went elsewhere. I don't understand the lack of care that seems to have infected the public schools. None of it makes sense now.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if they improved the education at the schools, students would stay!!! Why stay at ARPS schools when charters are free for families?

Build it and they will stay.

Anonymous said...

I would think that the leadership of Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the University of Mass would be concerned if their faculty members with children no longer had confidence in the quality of the education provided in our regional public school system, and therefore felt compelled to send their children elsewhere, whether to private or charter schools.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

Why stay in Amherst when the school system sucks, PERIOD!
And that is why Charter schools are taking away student after student from Amherst.

Anonymous said...

An elected school board governs public schools but what is the public oversight of charter schools?

I understand Washington State supreme court recently banned charter schools for this reason. Because they are not accountable to the public, they are not eligible for public funding.

Anonymous said...

It's not accurate that the ARPS schools 'suck.' There are flaws, for sure, and I fault them for several things. But my 3 children (2 kids of color, 1 white) got a good education (last one just graduated), found people to connect with, and are knowledgeable in many areas that the peers they meet now are not. There were some awesome programs they were exposed to, as well as arts programs and lab visits at the local colleges and UMASS. Diversity and social justice issues were woven into the curriculum, they had some fabulous teachers (and some not - just like other schools), and when we raised concerns, which happened several times, most of the time administrators were responsive. One really lousy teacher was ousted within a year. Our child on an IEP had great support from her liaison and teachers. This child, who struggled academically, ultimately passed all MCAS tests - this doesn't just happen, it takes effort at school as well as at home. Lots of people can't say the same about their neighborhood schools.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:53.... It seems the parents are the public oversight since all the charter schools have waiting lists. And... FYI.... Charter schools have a higher level of accountability to the state. Are you an ARPS central office administrator by any chance? Anything to not focus on the very real problem that Amherst is rapidly losing its perception as a high quality private school like education. With the charter schools providing an affordable option for the masses folks are going that way. If ARPS wants to keep its students they need to start taking a competitive approach. They need to prove they are the best option.

I wish they would.... I don't want to have to send my kids to charter schools......

Anonymous said...

Some things to consider, from a fairly satisfied, and sometimes very pleased, parent of a district kid: The dollar amount that travels with a pupil out of the district to another school is set by the state, yes? So the amount of funds we lose is something to take up with the state. And charter schools that are non-profit are completely different than for profits. Some of our local non-profit charter schools have no libraries, cafeterias, or fancy technology. That is because the state forbids capital investment. Furthermore, have you noticed the lower salaries at charter schools? The instructors don't have collective bargaining, because with it, the budgets would collapse. Sure, some of those teachers would wish for it, but you'll notice they choose to teach there regardless, and families send their children there. I agree that we need to take a hard look at what charter schools are doing that mainstream publics fail to do: smaller classes, curricular choice, instructor-directed syllabi, to name just a few topics. Again, some things to consider. Try not to to lash out, neighbors...

Anonymous said...

Just some of the problems in the Amherst schools:
Elementary: large classes; many teachers told not to differentiate curriculum so only a small number of students get what they need; social justice mantra forced down students throats with no real actual changes in action. Low expectations.
ARMS: large classes; little to no writing; students received little to no feeeback on papers they did finally write; arts and language choices cut;behavior problems tolerated again and again even when the same student consistently disrupts class. Until recently there were too many administrative changes to name here so policies, plans and programs kept changing too with no consistency year to year.
ARHS: Where to begin? Large curricular changes enacted with no data showing the purported benefits, and there were always promises to review results in a few years. Never happens. Cuts to all the programs that made Arhs an interesting place. This causes a lot of stress to teachers, which gets passed on to students. Changing current math curriculum to all IMP with no other options, when IMP was the math track that only 5% of students previously chose.

And you wonder why families are leaving ARPS for charter schools and for those who can afford it, private schools?

ARPS Families: what other problems did I leave out? Share here.

Dr. Ed said...

I do not believe that blue jeans are appropriate attire for a superintendent at a meeting like this. It's called professionalism...

I'm not saying she has to wear a dress, (and why should I have to wear a tie) but is it too much to ask that she at least wears a "classy" pair of pants? She *is* after all, the highest paid public employee in town...

Anonymous said...

Anon 12/7, 7;25 pm:
you are lucky that your kids have graduated. There have been a number of changes (program cuts, curriculum changes, & other changes) in recent years that have not all been for the better. I wish my kid was older & had gone to the Amherst schools earlier, not the schools as they are today.

Families are opting for charter schools -- & voc schools, choice schools, private schools & homeschooling -- more & more because they are unhappy about what's been happening with the Amherst public schools & their children's education, Some are choosing alternative educational options primarily because they are unhappy with what's happening in the local public schools. Unhappy with administrators who don't listen to parent concerns & who don't welcome parent input, unhappy with curriculum & policies that don't adequately differentiate for all students -- the elementary schools seem particularly poor at this -- & unhappy with cuts in courses (language cuts in the MS, music cuts in the MS & HS, voc offerings in the HS). For example, the increased enrollment of Amherst students in the Chinese charter school is not just about parents wanting their kids to learning Chinese (though being bilingual is a great life skill) but about parents feeling that their kids will get a better education in terms of other subjects there as well.

There are some ARPS staff, even administrators, who send their kids out of the Amherst district -- to charter schools, etc. -- does that say something about our schools? Is that choice just a reflection of a particular student's needs, or the fact that these parents think the other schools will offer a better education than ARPS? I think in some cases, it's the latter.

When talking publicly about the increased charter school enrollments & the projected further increases, ARPS administrators often seem to make them sound like a fait accompli & there is nothing they can do. This is not the case. If families felt better about our schools, more of the families/students that are now leaving the districts would stay. I think the districts should be thinking more about ways, & doing more, to help keep them here.

btw, Mr. Kelley: I am wondering about the figures on how much increased charter school enrollments cost the district. You mention a projected increase of 10 more students in charter schools for next year. At a cost of approx. $20,000 each per year (ouch!!) those students combined would cost the district about $200K annually. How does the increased total leap to $494K? Are there expected cost increases for the students who currently attend charter schools as well? I am assuming that's where the difference in the increased cost comes, yes?

Larry Kelley said...

Combination of two things.

Costs and reimbursements from the state being a tad out of sync, but mostly the schools miscalculated with their budget on how many would be attending Charter schools last year and were off by ten or more. So that number represents kind of a catch up.

Anonymous said...

Jeesh, Ms Geryk would have us believing all our money woes come from charter/voc choice. Yes, it is a hit (but not as bad as she would portray it) and be there is something she can do about it (improve our schools so folks see OUR schools as the best choice). When a student leaves for charter or voc, about $20,000 follows them out of our budget (about $9,000 from the state's contribution (so not really in our budget or rather from our local taxes) and $11,000 from our town's assessments). BUT that $$ was on average the cost of educating that student in OUR school. When they go, we no longer have to bear those education costs. So the question is: what does it cost to educate a non-SPED student in regional district (since that is the population most likely leaving)? If it is only $5000, then the district is at a net loss of $15,000/student. If it is $10,000, then $10,000 net loss. BUT I very much doubt we are at a net loss of $20,000/student, unless it costs us NOTHING to teach a non-SPED student.

When the budget is claimed as level funded, I am assuming that Ms Geryk does not figure in the reduced number of students that is also occurring. The level budget is based simply on last year's budget, irregardless of student numbers. Am I right??

Larry Kelley said...

Yes.

But she also told the Four Towns meeting that there are an additional $100K or more in added costs on top of Sean Mangano's "Level Funded" budget that bring the gap to more like $600K

Hilda Greenbaum said...

The Chinese school in Hadley regularly gets the highest MCAS scores in the Commonwealth! (Published annually in the Boston Globe) Hilda

Anonymous said...

Regarding Hilda's comment: I'm sure the immersion charter school is proud of their MCAS scores. But this can't be used as an easy comparison to ARPS schools, since the student makeup is so different. ARPS has a high population of students with special needs and students who don't speak English as a second language. These students are required to take the standardized tests. The percent of students in the immersion school who are in these subgroups is negligible. It would be comparing apples and oranges.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes parents flee the public schools just because they don't want their kids having to learn in the same room as other kids, whom they perceive as being different than, or maybe even inferior to, theirs. Sometimes it's as simple as that and there's no changing those people's minds. The challenges of budgeting for a diverse learning community--challenges that can and have crippled weaker communities--have to a large degree been met in Amherst by a focus on diversity as an ASSET and not a problem to avoid encountering when possible.

Catching snakes in a bottle said...

I love you Kathy Mazur.

And soon

this whole world will love you

as much

as I do.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=865Qntqmi88


-Squeaky Squeaks

p.s. XOXOXOX.

Anonymous said...

Liberal agenda foisted on all-too willing students. Are there not two sides to the coin? Why not present the other side with as much zeal as is the one (left) side?

Anonymous said...

anon@1:43: if you are including students that are verbally abusive and threaten physical abuse as "different" than maybe you are right. Otherwise, you don't know what you are talking about. All the parents that I know who moved their kids very MUCH wanted them to stay in public school (and are proponents of public ed). BTW, these kids that are verbally abusive and threaten physical abuse aim much of their effort at SPED students and those one would typically call "different". I wish the staff would put some effort into discouraging it but they don't.

Anonymous said...

anon 1:43: I want to keep my kids in our local public schools, & I am not going to "flee." I just feeling frustrated & increasingly as though the district doesn't care about my kids' learning needs & their right to a "just right" for them education. As it should be, the district focuses most of its attention on kids with IEPs & kids who need remedial help..... but it would be nice for the district to acknowledge sometime that other students have learning needs too & are entitled to more than they are getting. District & school administrators say that all students can be sufficiently served differentiated teaching in fewer classrooms. Yes, good differentiation would go a long way, but some of the district's current attempts, such as with co-taught classrooms fall short of the ideal. The implementation of the workshop model has also been problematic.

Anonymous said...

Test

Anonymous said...

The comments on this blog are so outrageous and offensive. Please do your research folks!

1) Chinese Charter is a gourmet school - looked into it for our child - very few special needs students. A number of students come from families who already speak an Asian language and CC fits into their cultural interests. Families who can afford to transport from Amherst do; very disparate and definitely not equal access. Tell me about their free and reduced population? Highest MCAS in comparison to what - do some research and understand what you are talking about, please.

It is not fair to take money from public schools to support private schools (like CC). The construct of charters on the back of public education is faulty from the jump and it will be the down fall of many smaller towns when it was intended to address inner city discrepancies.

2) What does that youtube reference mean anyway?

3) What administrator in this town would want their children to be subjected to this community? Oh, wait, there are loads of students of administrators in our schools. And, why can't an administrator make a choice for their own children; they work for the schools - not their children or their families. You don't know the reasons behind and nor should you know them - privacy is their right.

4) Wondering if you were facing losing your job in public education how you would feel about the constant negative comments. The few who did offer their fair experiences were honest - not one sided.

Anonymous said...

Hello Larry, I am writing to express my concerns with the comment about the specific school administrator. It seems very odd, personal and worrisome. Do you know this person? Should we be worried about safety? Is it a threat? Thanks for listening. Wasn't sending this for public post but to express my concern to you. Thanks for listening!

Larry Kelley said...

No you should not be worried about safety.

No more than usual.

Anonymous said...

Awww, is Anon-Kurt back?

Larry Kelley said...

I've been getting a lot of queries tonight about my Anons.

Sluuuuuurrrrrp said...

"Hello Larry, I am writing to express my concerns with the comment about the specific school administrator. It seems very odd, personal and worrisome. Do you know this person? Should we be worried about safety? Is it a threat? Thanks for listening. Wasn't sending this for public post but to express my concern to you. Thanks for listening!"



Ask me, fool.


I'll tell you everything you need to know.


But

you already knew that.


-Squeaky Squeaks


p.s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6ZB7CsSw6Q

Anonymous said...

Go to one of our schools. The teachers dress like the students. What a great example. How To Dress For Your Job Interview.

Anonymous said...

Tough to argue against that result...

Anonymous said...

Okay. You don't like negative comments. You're as free to disregard them as those who make them are to express them.

Dr. Ed said...

Teachers not worth their pay...

Admin are teachers who can't teach...

Superintendent neither has a classroom teacher's certificate nor has ever taught in a regular classroom...

More money please.....

Anonymous said...

It's past time for new leaders for our schools.

Anonymous said...

And you are Anon______?

Anonymous said...

yes, this post was mostly about charter costs but WHY are the numbers of FTEs going up in the next two year projections (while our student numbers are decreasing pretty rapidly)? Any thoughts/clarification?

Rosalie Porter said...

How amazing that the information on charter public school funding is largely a mystery to the well-educated citizens in the Pioneer Valley! Our good people deserve to know some facts.

If 10 new students will leave the Amherst schools this year to attend charters, the local district will still receive the state tuition for those students. Yes, folks, the formula goes like this: the local district receives 100% of the state tuition the first year the student is gone; 75% the second year; 50% the third year. The school administrators ought to be able to reconfigure the organization of classrooms/teachers etc. to take account of the fewer students, while continuing to get state money, yes?

Charter public schools like Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion K-12 School and Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School fit the state law that started charters to provide innovative models, giving families choices. But they are also held to a higher standard than other public schools. Charter students must demonstrate achievement on the same measures (MCAS etc) within 5 years of the school's establishment or the school can be closed.

When students in Amherst leave to attend private or parochial schools, Amherst gets nothing in state funds, nada, zilch.

And, last, to answer the teachers' union speaker, charter schools have Boards of Trustees of whom each member must be approved by the Commissioner of Education.

I am a 50+ year resident of Amherst, an educator, and a recent member of the boards of the two charter schools mentioned above. I am not anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rosalie for the information. So Amherst actually gets a deal for sending kids to Charter schools for several years. If a sophomore leaves for a charter school, only in the last year (their senior year) will Amherst pay out $4,500 to the charter school (~ half of the state ch 70) and Amherst gets to keep $4,500 (for doing nothing). The previous two years Amherst got to keep ~$12,000 for doing nothing. Rosalie, what happens to the money raised through town budget for the student? If the average cost for a ARPS student is about ~$19,000 (~9000 from ch 70), does the remain $10,000 go to the charter school or does it not get assessed at all (ie the student doesn't get counted in the enrollment)?

Funny you just posted this info, I was just trying to find it- couldn't remember if the sliding costs went with the student or was otherwise calculated.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Porter,

What leads you to believe that "the information on charter school funding is largely a mystery to the well-educated citizens of the Pioneer Valley"? Are you basing that judgment of us solely on the few anonymous comments that you are reading on this post? Or is your sense of amazement at our lack of knowledge based as well in other observations you've made over your 50 year career in education?

Thank You.

Rick Hood said...

The problem with comparing charter schools with public schools is that it’s apples and oranges in terms of student populations (and other things like union versus non-union workforce).

Compare Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School with Amherst Elementary.

Amherst
First Language not English 23.1%
English Language Learner 15.2%
Students With Disabilities 17.6%
High Needs 47.3%
Economically Disadvantaged 27.6%

Source: http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/profiles/student.aspx?orgcode=00080000&orgtypecode=5&leftNavId=305

Chinese Immersion Charter School
First Language not English 12.6%
English Language Learner 3.9%
Students With Disabilities 6.4%
High Needs 23.9%
Economically Disadvantaged 15.2%

Source: http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/profiles/student.aspx?orgcode=04970205&orgtypecode=6&leftNavId=305&

Rick who? said...

"I know that many community members and teachers have very positive feelings about Maria Geryk, and I hear this passion. And I really wish I could feel good about supporting her candidacy, because in many ways, that would be the easiest choice since she is already here and known by our community. But voting for superintendent isn’t supposed to be the easiest choice – it is supposed to be the choice that is best for our community moving forward, and as much as I appreciate the work she has done on creating instructional rounds and being visible in the community, I also have real concerns about her ability to handle the very real problems we face.

We have a big achievement gap, and students who were failing MCAS were identified in September, yet the Achievement Academy didn’t start until January (half-way through the school year), which seems less than ideal.

We have one school (Fort River) that is showing declines in both math and ELA MCAS and she hasn’t developed a plan to address this.

We have real concerns from some parents in special education, and she hasn’t attended SEPAC

We have major budget challenges, and it is February and we’ve not seen a budget at Amherst or Regional (and she has already cancelled the budget presentation set for Tuesday). This is two months later than what we had with Alberto.

We have had a report on math in our district from an outside expert in October, and it is February and we have had no action plan on dealing with this recommendation, despite the fact that we have a major achievement gap and lower MCAS math scores in 3rd grade than the state average. I haven’t seen any sense of urgency from her in addressing these long-standing concerns.

We had, at the time of her appointment, a very divided SC, and I have seen no interest or willingness on her part of trying to bring the SC together, which is really sad to me. I didn’t vote for Alberto Rodriguez, yet when he arrived, he reached out to me and met with each SC member individually each month, and really worked to understand all of our concerns. I haven’t seen this type of interest in getting to understand those who disagree with her from Maria. Relatedly, I know that Maria has reached out to some community members, but I feel that reaching out has been to those who support her – and there hasn’t been a willingness to do the same for those who have real concerns – about math, about special education, etc. - and I find that really unfortunate.

So, when I look at Ms. Geryk’s performance over the last year, a year in which she was clearly trying to put her “best foot forward” in terms of getting the superintendent’s job, I have serious concerns. And those concerns unfortunately make it impossible for me to take a leap of faith and vote to make her the permanent superintendent."



-Squeaky Squeaks

Anonymous said...

Ms. Porter,

I believe you've included some outdated "facts" in your comment. Some of those things have changed. Will you please make sure you are fully educated on the issue, and get back to us, to let us know if you stand behind the figures and statements you've published?

Thanks.

Catherine A. Sanderson said...

Thanks, squeaky squeaks (whoever you are!), for posting my blog piece explaining my decision to not vote for Ms. Geryk - and I will say I have yet to see any evidence that my decision was in error. I care about the Amherst schools deeply - and wish someday that would reach their full potential - but until they do, families with means will continue to leave.

Anonymous said...

Really? Sanderson is back? Perhaps she is Sqeaky Squeaks? Such a clever ploy and interesting timing. Red herring?
Sanderson knows nothing about the real work in the public schools. Some people should keep their focus on the elite of private schools.

Larry Kelley said...

No, she is not Squeaky.

Unlike you, she always demonstrates the courage and integrity to stand behind her words by signing her name.

Anonymous said...

1. When I sense that someone in the community feels scared and intimidated by an anon blogger's comments, my first intuition is to (blank.

Larry Kelley said...

That's why I never get scared or intimidated by Anon comments.

Anonymous said...

You're most welcome Dr. Sanderson.


:)


-SS

Anonymous said...

Well, if I sensed that someone else was concerned, I wouldn't post in a way that is antagonistic to the person who asked if "we should be worried" and "is there a threat", the way Ms. Sanderson did. But I'm not her.

Anonymous said...

Rick Hood,
"It's apples and oranges in terms of... union versus non-union workers." Perhaps, but is union structure and membership actually correlated with any favorable student outcomes? Or is it simply associated with higher faculty expense, shorter school-day and school-year, lower standardized test scores, and greater antagonism within a school district struture in general?

Anon 9:07am,
You don't say what figures you think are in error. Make your case please.

Catherine,
RIGHT ON.

Dr. Ed said...

Rick Hood -- the problem with comparing the SPED/Special Needs statistics is that these are only the children who are (a) diagnosed *and* (b) receiving services -- without evaluating all the children, you have no way of knowing how many *undiagnosed* SPED children there are -- children who would qualify for services but don't need them because their needs are being met in the regular classroom.

If both the school and classroom are a nurturing, supportive (and safe) environment, if the curriculum is well organized and structured, if the expectations placed on the child are both understandable and reasonable -- if you have this, many SPED children can not only function as a regular child in a regular classroom but often are far better off doing so. If a child is successful in school, neither parents nor the school have any incentive to expend the time, effort and money in an assessment.

Whom does the classroom teacher refer to SPED? The child who is disrupting the classroom and the child who can't do the work -- the latter often being why the child is disrupting the classroom (a desperate attempt to slow things down).
Reality is that SPED only serves the median and down -- a gifted SPED child falls through the cracks.

As the charter (and Catholic parochial) schools offer a far more SPED-friendly curriculum, you have no way of knowing if the percentage of undiagnosed SPED children is higher than in the public school -- and I highly suspect it is.

Dr. Ed said...

As to ELL, never forget what the second "L" stands for.

You have two factors -- (A) not knowing English and (B) effort/interest in learning it. The latter largely involves parents -- is there a parental interest in the child learning English, and is English spoken in the child's home.

Parents who are serious about their child's future success want the child to speak English with an American accent -- often they don't want the child learning the old language, case in point Ted Cruz. These are the same parents who are more inclined toward sending their kids to a charter school -- remember that charter schools place demands on parents that the public schools don't.

Reality is that all of the statistics -- including race -- correspond to differences in interest in and value of education. Yes, including race -- the sad fact is that education isn't valued in a lot of minority households.

Anonymous said...

Sanderson's comment at the hiring of the Superintendent looks like a prophecy. The 4 towns meeting financial analysis of the schools looks like the beginning of an autopsy.

Anonymous said...

Ms Porter? Please don't leave us to figure out this funding mess, so we can make educated decisions, all by ourselves! We need someone with your kind of expertise to explain it to us. Please finish the conversation you started.

Anonymous said...

"Sanderson's comment at the hiring of the Superintendent looks like a prophecy."

Yes, and Larry's article from last year about how the state-funded clearance sign on the under-pass on Snell was gonna get smacked by a truck looks like a prophecy, too.

Come, Anon. 11:17, let me tell you your Fortune.

Larry Kelley said...

I was wondering if anyone remembered that.

Anonymous said...

I agree, but could we possibly get someone in there who has more conservative principles please. The liberal agenda does not work.

Anonymous said...

"You don't say which figures you think are in error. State your case please."

My concern is not what the facts and figures are, but rather, does the 50-year Amherst resident educator who is on TWO charter school boards, and who will be making major decisions about how our tax dollars are used to fund kids' educations, know the facts.

I'm going to take it that decisions she makes as a charter school board member, about how my tax dollars are used, are based in the beliefs she stated here.

Anonymous said...

We hired someone with conservative principals, but he turned out to be an absentee philanderer, among many other much worse things.

Anonymous said...

Are Charter School Board Members chosen democratically?

Anonymous said...

I think this covers Charter tuition, etc
http://www.doe.mass.edu/charter/finance/tuition/Reimbursements.html

You know it said...

"among many other much worse things."



OMG you are SOOOOO right!



"AMHERST - Superintendent Alberto Rodriguez and the School Committee would much rather deal with educational issues than get tangled up in the question of whether teachers have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day.

At Tuesday's committee meeting, Rodriguez said he would send an email message to teachers notifying them that a state law requires them to lead daily recitations of the pledge. But on Friday, after learning that this law is in legal limbo, Rodriguez said he would like to consult the schools' attorney before acting on "this very thorny issue.""


-Squeaky Squeaks


p.s. Hatred, pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

He's lucky he is not in prison.

Anonymous said...

God ( or Griff if you are a non-believer) forbid that anyone should try to instil a love of country. Who, in the future WILL you count on to defeat the enemies of the USA?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:49 AM I'd like to instill a love of me in you.

Anonymous said...

Is the rumor that Kathy Mazer was named Director of Projects? Will is mean yet another newly created central admin position?

Anonymous said...

Where can we meet, 10:01? That'd be interesting. Lol.
-8:49

Fool said...

"He's lucky he is not in prison."



So are you.



-Squeaky Squeaks

Anonymous said...

Squeaky, did your job get harder or easier when Jerry left?

Anonymous said...

I think that when people make public comment at SC, there should be an instant fact checker in attendance to correct the numerous inaccuracies that are spewed there. Regularly, the (same old) people who comment there give incorrect information, and a lot of people believe it just because they got up in front of a cameras and said it. The way we do democracy in this town undermines everyone's ability to make real, meaningful democratic decisions.

Anonymous said...

My favorite line in the Pledge of Allegiance is "...with Liberty and Justice for All".

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I take it that is intended as an incisive comment and insult to the country in which you choose to live. Lemme guess: America-hating "progressive."

Anonymous said...

Not in the least.

Anonymous said...

The men who instilled my love of this country were war veterans, and they didn't instill it in me through mindless incantations of a pledge written by a socialist.

Anonymous said...

And I sure as hell didn't then or now need some chicken-hawk "conservative" from Florida coming up here telling me how to teach my kids to love their country.

Anonymous said...

Mindless? Yes, but enough about you. Speaking of socialists, I'm guessing you are one.Gonna vote for Bernie I hope.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing you've never set foot in a hostile environment, like a war.

Anonymous said...

Must've been recruited during the "Army of One" campaign era.

Anonymous said...

Because what--You teach em that, right?