Tag: Polk Schools

Join the 7069 lawsuit, part 1: an elegant fight for good faith in state government

America’s worst, most corrupt School Board sits in Tallahassee in comfy state legislator chairs. Your vote for a local School Board member matters little or nothing to them. Their behavior shows they believe they can do anything to you — or allow anything to happen –and get away with it. Therein lies the elegance of the 7069 lawsuit. It’s not…

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Changing culture requires confronting it: explaining my administrator vote

Take a look at the brief clip that follows. It comes from last week’s regular School Board meeting. In it, I explain why I felt it morally and ethically necessary to vote against a slate of administrator hires and promotions. In short, the circumstances of two specific appointments trouble me deeply. Our HR department has said it is reviewing both…

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Power, sex, and leadership: an urgent policy need

Since June, I’ve become aware of three personnel decisions or relationships tainted by allegations of favoritism or mistreatment tied to undisclosed consensual sexual relationships. I’ve been made aware by the public or close stakeholders who provided detailed accusations. I make no claims about the truth of the allegations — only their existence and detail. One of three has already resolved…

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How money matters in community education, part 1: 1200 teachers to hire

This series of posts is primarily aimed at Polk’s business community and the wider community that doesn’t follow the intricacies of education policy and politics. It’s aimed at answering some basic questions: What are the real world consequences of years of self-defeating state stinginess in education funding? What does money buy? Why are community districts talking about money? Buying the…

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The line must be drawn here. Start with Level raises.

As of today, I consider it mandatory that we honor previously established Level raises (sometimes known as steps) for all Polk School District employees. It will cost us about $4.3 million. We have the money to do it. It’s a simple choice between fulfilling our core function for our community or maintaining a “growing savings account” of dead money that…

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There is no “we” with Kelli Stargel. Only “you.”

Update: Senator Stargel posted a Facebook comment in response to this post. I’m republishing it here: “I hate to add to this post because I don’t want to start an extended conversation on Facebook, that at this busy time of session, I don’t have time to complete but…. Billy, I believe we had a free and open conversation. There is…

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Wes Bridges has tenure no teacher can dream of

If the School Board chooses to non-renew Wes Bridges’ contract before January 1, he will still be guaranteed his job until 2019. And our only recourse, as a board, will be to buy out his contract in full. That will mean writing him a $450,000 check, plus whatever vacation and incidental costs he would be owed. He might as well…

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Wes Bridges’ resignation/contract is STILL not on any agenda

I’ll have a fuller discussion soon of the rather fascinating issues raised by the great Townsend/Fields Sunshine Law kerfuffle of 2016. But I do want to say this now: public officials should be scrutinized, myself included. We should not whine about it — or hide from it. Indeed, that’s why I personally forwarded the emails in question to The Ledger….

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How to volunteer for change. We need you.

Energy wins elections. We have more of it. Let’s show it in the community in this final kick of the campaign. Here are several opportunities to volunteer. If one or more strikes your fancy, email me at bitown1@gmail.com or campaign@billytownsend.com or Facebook message me; and we’ll bring this thing home together. Work a precinct — either on Early Voting or Election…

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The truth about Hunt’s mailer: two open lies, three fuzzy falsehoods, and a revelation of character

Adversity reveals character. Over the last six months, I’ve used deeply researched, substantive critiques to hold Hunt Berryman to account for his performance as a School Board member and leader. I beat him by 10 percentage points in August’s primary race. I won 90 percent of precincts across the county. Hunt has responded to this adversity by adopting many of…

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