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COLUMN

Happytown

A hitch in redistricting draws the attention of the ACLU, Gov.-elect Rick Scott makes Florida's miseducation even worse and there's a hairball in your homeless food!

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Double crossed: Rick Scott’s plans to turn education into free-market fraud surface


Although he may look like a substitute gym teacher harangued into a remedial U.S. History detention stint, in reality Gov.-elect Rick Scott would probably prefer that you not even mention the word “teacher” in his presence. Why? Because teachers are inefficient and fat, always griping about blackboard erasers and influenza, forever running to their union bosses with hangnail tears. Dagblammit, we don’t need teachers – or any of the necessary socialization that comes along with the public education experience – not when we can have the big Double-V: virtual schools and vouchers.

According to a 
Dec. 15 Mother Jones piece, details of Scott’s miseducation plan are starting to roll out and they look exactly like the robot excrement you might expect from a disgraced executive automaton. It’s a big mess of privatization and payouts, apparently, one that could see parents getting an annual $5,500 check to cover the learning needs of their own spawn; the rich will naturally win out because “private” schools will simply up the ante, while the poor will have to settle for a sort of mass-market education or a laptop. As for everyone!

If Scott’s plan sounds familiar, that’s because it is (or because you’re smart!). The whole voucher nonsense dates back to Gov. Jeb Bush; the fuck’em-if-they-can’t-learn education reform torch he lit is now being rather publicly hoisted by one Michelle Rhee, a sort of mouthy go-to-gal for the pundit news cycle these days, thanks to her efforts (and some say failures) at saving the Washington, D.C., public school system as its chancellor. Rhee, not coincidentally, is part of Scott’s current transition team, and though there are rumors that he’ll pluck her out of the free-market sky and plop her down for a paid position in his administration, for now it’s all idle speculation. A Scott spokesperson recently told the Miami Herald that the gubernatorial dome of uncertainty “definitely wants her to stick around.” That’s not how substitute teachers work! Substitutes for teaching on the 
other hand …

Just as we were marveling at how long it had been since a member of Food Not Bombs was last put in handcuffs, Orlando’s senior anarchist Ben Markeson called to notify us that on Dec. 15, he had finally received the honor of being escorted from a food-sharing event at Lake Eola Park in a police squad car.

Markeson was charged with resisting an officer without violence after inserting himself into discussion between an OPD officer and a Food Not Bombs volunteer. According to the charging affidavit, the volunteer was idling in a car parked at the end of Osceola Avenue when the officer told her that there was no parking or stopping allowed in the area. The volunteer acknowledged this, but didn’t stop the homeless denizens of the park from continuing to unload food from the car (probably because they were hungry). The officer then told the volunteer to turn 
off the car.

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