The politics of progress unfolds scandalous political deeds
By Derek Joy
Well now, it seems things are heating up in the field of education.
Yep, sure as shootin’, teachers in Chicago, Ill. are on strike.
And it comes at a time when Miami Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is pitching a Bond Issue to the voters of Miami Dade County.
The intent is to fund renovations of the aging schools in the district, while enhancing classroom technology. This is being done with assurances that the money would not be squandered or mismanaged, as has happened in the past.
However, there are no assurances that Carvalho or each member of the School Board will be in office during the life of hoped for Bond money. Absolutely no assurances that should any one or all of them are replaced, those same promises and commitments be honored.
Granted, the teacher strike in Chicago has no bearing on a Bond Issue in Miami Dade County. The fact that those teachers have no union has no impact either.
Yes. Teachers here have the United Teachers of Dade (UTD) to fight their battles. No. They can’t go on strike. But UTD can be a bit more transparent, especially when such a critical Bond Issue will be on the ballot.
For instance, the matter of UTD’s role in the recent elections, more specifically, UTD’s role in the Florida State Senate District 39 elections, where eventual winner Rep. Dwight Bullard defeated former Florida State Reps. Jim Saunders and James Bush III. Bullard and Bush are both educators in the Miami Dade Public Schools. Bush has been employed much longer than Bullard. UTD, for one reason or another, chose to endorse and support Bullard.
What has happened since is for the public to decide.
True, Bullard won the election. And, true, Bush has filed complaints with the Secretary of State and the Courts. The reason for such actions, according to Bush, is that UTD either directly or indirectly funneled more than $300,000 to Bullard’s campaign in a State Senate District of some 180,000 residents.
Bush alleged that UTD President Karen Arronowitz sent a letter to UTD members on UTD stationery urging members to support and vote for Bullard, even though all UTD members don’t live in Senate District 39.
Moreover, Bush questions whether or not Bullard and or Arronowitz violated any election laws. He cited Bullard’s alleged failure to submit a letter of resignation from his State House seat prior to the election as required by state law.
Funny thing, neither Arronowitz nor Bullard responded to questions regarding this issue emailed to them. So it does much to make one wonder about the validity of promises Carvalho is making about the UTD president and its members, one of whom was apparently elected to the State Senate under a cloud of what appears to be hidden scandals.
The question then becomes whether or not the same kind of seemingly immoral, if not illegal, behavior will permeate the conduct of those entrusted with professional management of the revenue generated by this Bond Issue?