My complaint with the Inspector General and the Attorney General:
File your own complaint:
Email me your pictures or descriptions of violations: email@example.com
MDCPS administration continues to violate its own Board Rules on political activity.
I am reporting that, directly in violation of
*FS 104.31 Political activities of state, county, and municipal officers and employees.—
(1) No officer or employee of the state, or of any county or municipality thereof, except as hereinafter exempted from provisions hereof, shall:
(a) Use his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election or a nomination of office or coercing or influencing another person’s vote or affecting the result thereof.
(2) An employee of the state or any political subdivision may not participate in any political campaign for an elective office while on duty.
*MDCPS Board Rules 1232, 3232, & 4232 – POLITICAL ACTIVITIES
“Pursuant to State law and Policy 6480, administrative staff members may not expend public funds (that is, any funds under the jurisdiction or control of the District) for a political advertisement or electioneering communication concerning an issue, referendum, or amendment, including State questions, that is subject to a vote of the electors.
In particular, note the language prohibiting “electioneering communication concerning an issue, referendum, or amendment…”
*Also, MDCPS Board Rule 6480 – EXPENDITURES
“Neither the District, nor any person acting on behalf of the District, may expend general funds for (1) political advertisement or electioneering communication;…”
Please note that schools are being directed to distribute materials, post signs, and campaign on election day FOR the bond approval, including using paper supplies to print flyers, when teachers are being rationed paper (there isn’t paper enough to print student materials, but they are directing us to print and distribute campaign influencing material):
“Briefing ID #: 12785 URGENT: ALL PRINCIPALS: Educational Resources Regarding Bond Referendum
As we near the November 6, 2012, General Election, principals are asked to share the following educational resources with all parents and community stakeholders. The flyer is to include:
General Obligation Bond “Fact Sheets,” which can be found attached to this briefing.
Please duplicate the Fact Sheet on one side with the proposed improvements for your location on the other side and send home with all students on Thursday, October 25, 2012.”
Not only do these instructions and activities violate board rules and state law prohibiting political activity, they interfere with instructional time and take away educational resources (paper, toner, copy time) that are in short supply (rationed!) already.
We teachers have collected photographs and materials that show the district is using resources and bandwidth to persuade voters with taxpayer paid resources. Furthermore, employees are being coerced to participate in the influencing of public opinion on the voting issue and to distribute the taxpayer paid for materials.
Schools are being provided with pdf flyers and they are being printed at the school sites and teachers are being asked to interrupt their teaching time to distribute the flyers to students.
Here is an excerpt from one flyer “222 WHAT? Miami-Dade County Public Schools will ask county voters to invest in their schools by approving the issuance of a $1.2 billion General Obligation (GO) Bond” (this is the flyer that is to be copied and distributed at each school site, it can be found here http://briefings.dadeschools.net/files/99239_Fact_Sheet2_Eng_Sp_HC.pdf ).
The administrative instructions that accompanied the flyer sent by school email “Tomorrow I will be placing in your mailbox a flyer on the Bond Issue for the November 6th election. Please distribute the flyer to your 7th period students on Thursday before they leave”
Though the district may call this “educational material” and that they’re only educating parents, there is NO mention of ballot choice 223 (NO to the bond).
The effects of the administrative directives and the school activities are to utilize public taxpayer resources to illegally influence public voting behavior in the affirmative on a ballot issue.
Administrators are also being told to display pro-tax messages on the school marquis, some of which will be inside the boundary within which no party may “electioneer” – a double wrong-doing by the public employees who are to refrain from electioneering with public resources to begin with:
Here’s some examples of the school employees’ compliance (hey, can you blame them, who wants to lose their job in this economy, right?):
Apparently, not everyone agrees with this measure and methodology:
Please contact me and let me know what you are doing about this.