Is Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Florida’s Future a Paper Tiger?


Last month’s blurb in the Tampa Bay Times that wealthy ed privatization advocate John Kirtley was hosting  a fundraiser for Jeb Bush to support his Foundation for Florida’s Future during the RNC caught the eye of Bush’s critics. Especially when it was revealed that two members of the Florida Board of Education – Kathleen Shanahan and Akshay Desai would be co-hosting the event. Whether of not the presence of the board members is ethical has yet to asked by the Florida media, but Bush and Kirtley are continuing their pattern of going after wealthy donors to fund their agenda. The invitation card seeks donations of $5000, $10000, and $15000.

So what’s Bush  war chest for? A fundraising letter he sent out one week ago was done on behalf of Parent Trigger, the cynically named Parent Empowerment Act. Opponents understand that its a ploy designed to be a back channel way to turn public schools over to a for-profit charter school operator.  At any rate, Bush turned down his cash expectations a bit and set a ceiling at $5000. He probably hopes the petition request that’s part of his mailer does better than the one on his website.

I’m not sure how long the petition to support the Parent Empowerment Act has been on the Foundation’s site. But it hasn’t gotten a lot of traffic. Just two days ago on Saturday, the petition had 71 signatures and it remains unchanged this morning. It sports only 4 Facebook likes and has yet to be shared on Twitter. Hardly a ground swell of support. More like a drip off a desert plant.

Creating the illusion of wide-spread support continues to be at the top of the playbook for the privatization crowd masquerading as benevolent education reformers. Is Bush’s foundation a paper tiger that exists to maintain the illusion

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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3 Responses to Is Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Florida’s Future a Paper Tiger?

  1. stlgretchen says:

    Did Michelle Rhee ever fess up to what she wants a billion dollar war chest for? This begging for money sounds familiar…..maybe she handles TFA and charters and Jeb has been assigned the Parent Trigger option angle.

    I wrote about Rhee’s letters now circulating in MO…poorly written and unclear on the intention for the money or her definition of education reform. Click on her links in her blog. Her own links don’t even give information on what type of reform she wants. I think we learn from Florida in education reform measures, they come to us in a couple of years after you experience them.

    http://www.missourieducationwatchdog.com/2012/08/did-michelle-rhee-or-one-of-her-tfaers.html.

  2. Diane says:

    Well I am a couple of days late on this one and I just checked and the number is still 71 – can we pray that people are catching on to Jeb Bush’s Charter School Communistic plan.

    THE BOTTOM LINE GOAL OF CHARTER SCHOOL’S IS NOT FOR THE GOOD OF OUR CHILDREN – IT IS TO HAVE ALL OUR CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS OF WHICH THE BOARDS ARE APPOINTED NOT ELECTED AND THE FINAL WORD ON EVERYONE WILL COME FROM D.C.

    You think I am crazy? I can show you where the first time Charter Schools were mentioned and the plan laid out was in the 1934 Carnegie Report on Social Studies. It was the forerunner to the laid out communist curriculum for our children and then those same plans were expanded by Marc Tucker along with his buddies the Rockefeller’s, Rothschild’s, Clinton’s and Bush’s in 1993.
    It was referred to as the “school to work program” Sounds like communism to me. Never forget Hilliary Clinton was big on this education program – even had gotten paid by Marc Tucker to write a program years earlier.

    Florida Board of Education members Kathleen Shanahan and Akshay Desai might do well to remember who they work for and it is not Jeb Bush! It would also be to their benefit to check what I posted above to check and see if their is a job for them in the future.

    JUST HOW DO YOU GET THROUGH TO THE PARENTS IN THIS STATE? WAKE UP – SMELL THE TEXTBOOKS, FCAT’S and ROTTEN LEGISLATION! It stinks to high heaven!

    It might do well for Senator Evers and the Ethics Committee to start taking some action against our legislators who seem to think it is ok to write and vote on Charter school legislation while making money off of Charter schools, taking donations from the NGO’s pushing Charter schools and serving on committees on Jeb Bush’s Foundation all at the same time. As Mr. Robinson found out – you cannot serve so many masters all at one time.

    I am particularly fond of Rep. John Legg who not only falls into all those categories above but he is the Business Manager of his Charter School “Dayspring Academy” and his wife is the Senior Administrator so I guess they both get a salary from the business he votes legislation for?

    I am so proud of our Florida legislators! NOT!

  3. Diane says:

    DiD we ever get a report on what Mary Ellen Elia did with the $100+ she got from Bill Gates a few years ago to screw up Hillsborough County even more? With all that money those teachers should be flying high and those kids way smarter than most. No one else got any money like that to try and improve things in their districts – I would bet most superintendents didn’t even know she got it. She is a Jeb Bush Girl!

    Oh and don’t forget Senator Anitere Flores didn’t run for re-election! She is going to be the President of the VERY FIRST CHARTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE! A JEB BUSH GIRL!

    Makes me think of our former Commissioner of Education Eric Smith and how he brought that Communist program International Baccalaureate into Florida in 1983,embraced FCAT’s – a Jeb Bush Chief’s for Change!

    Is there a sign when coming from Georgia to Florida that says “YOU HAVE ENTERED JEB BUSH WORLD?”

    Look at what they did to win support for their Charter School schemes! Do they ever tell you about the failed ones? What a ponzi scheme here!

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