Hello Visitors. Ever notice that there comes a particular age where you lose all interest in being right, in favor getting something done? This time has come with the current Jeffco Board of Education.
Those of you who have been with me for a while know the narrative. I’m a teacher, have been for thirty years. My brother ran, and was elected to the Jeffco BOE. Jeffco is a declining school district of about 85 thousand kids. It has a budget of over a billion dollars, TWICE as large as EVERY SINGLE OTHER county agency combined.(http://jeffco.us/budget-and-risk-management/adopted-budgets/2016-adopted-budget/)
Sit with that a minute. Jeffco schools say they need more money than the rest of the county by a factor of 2. That’s twice as much money as the sheriff’s department, commissioners, human services – Human services, that’s food aid to the poor of all sorts, that’s child abuse hotlines, that’s social services, that’s job training and counseling- twice as much as Public Health- health services to poor folks- twice as much as parks services, twice as much money as every single other agency combined.
It just boggles the mind.
Now, remember for a moment. My brother was John Newkirk, one of the fiscally responsible, concerned citizens who ran for this volunteer post because he was concerned about the lack of focus on achievement in this district and blatant fiscal irresponsibility.
I was convinced the very, very powerful teacher’s union was going to skewer my brother and his family. I was right. I was convinced the powerful teacher’s union was NOT going to go quietly into the night, with their cash-filled golden goose at risk. Painfully, I was right. (For a review of these things, click back about three or four posts).
The Union managed to successfully manipulate the electorate to install the so-called ‘clean slate gang’
Now, as you might think, my problems with this gang are legion. But to stay on point, consider the older gentleman to the left. His name is Ron Mitchell, and he is the President of this travesty. Ron Mitchell was the principle of a failing high school called Alameda for ten years in the eighties and nineties. The problems with Alameda under Ron Mitchell were dire, and for those students, catastrophic. In recent years, 8 out of 10 Alameda students took six years to graduate. NINE out of ten Alameda grads cannot perform math an on a ninth grade level. Alameda was designated a ‘turnaround school’, which means it has a limited period of time to design and act on an improvement plan or the state will shut it down. This can fairly be laid at Ron Mitchell’s feet.
Ron Mitchell is now in charge of Jeffco’s future. This is incredible.
(Out of state and international Visitors, track with me here. Alameda is one of dozens of Jeffco schools of color. Nearly 9 out of 10 Alameda attendees are not white. Failing publics schools of color are the bonfire civil rights issue of our day. There is a very real, defacto racial discrimination at play in Jeffco Public Schools. The chaos that currently reigns in Jeffco will be a reflection of this national disgrace. Please, follow along. )
Currently, this gang is preparing for the largest bond issue in Jeffco history. This November, this group is going to try and persuade Jeffco voters that it is in dire need of $800 MILLION dollars for budget shortfalls. $1.15 BILLION US dollars isn’t enough.
Mitchell and the Union-inserted Clean Slate gang can’t make ends meet on TWICE the amount that every single other county worker has to live with.
Tell that to the sheriff that comes to your door when you call.
Tell that to the overworked social worker fielding child abuse cases.
Tell that to the public health nurse running the immunization clinic for poor kids.
Tell that to hungry mother trying to get food for her kids.
This is simply infuriating. This is out of control, and THIS, my friends, is why we need to care.