Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Frog, Meet Scorpion.

This morning, I was reminded of this fable.

The Scorpion and the Frog is a fable about a scorpion asking a frog to carry him across a river. The frog is afraid of being stung during the trip, but the scorpion argues that if it stung the frog, the frog would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog agrees and begins carrying the scorpion, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion points out that this is its nature. The fable is used to illustrate the position that the behaviour of some creatures is irrepressible, no matter how they are treated and no matter what the consequences.

Believe it or not, this fable is coming to life right here in Southern Nevada. But alas, how could this be. Well, this is why I'm writing about it today. Here are The Scorpion & The Frog.

The Nevada Policy Research Institute filed a complaint with the 8th Judicial District Court on Friday alleging the Clark County Debt Management Commission violated the Nevada Open Meeting Law.

The commission — composed of three Clark County commissioners and representatives from local city governments and the School Board — voted during its June 7 meeting to approve a ballot question that seeks voter approval on a new property tax to fund school construction and rehabilitation projects.

The cash-strapped School District is pursuing a new capital improvement plan to address $5.3 billion in school maintenance needs over the next decade. The School Board — supported by four former first ladies of Nevada — are pushing for a six-year capital levy that is expected to raise property taxes as much as $74 a year on a home with an assessed valuation of $100,000.

CCSD administrators really believed NPRI's spinmasters when they "offered to help" them "take care" of all those "pesky teachers". So CCSD admin went out of their way to please their new political soulmates. Even if it meant hurting CCSD students, they cut and cut and cut away while continuing to find new ways to deny teachers their fair pay.

So what are CCSD bosses getting in return? Oh, just a law suit from NPRI aiming to block that capital bond initiative they so direly need from ever reaching this fall's ballot. I know, what a way to show gratitude!

Frog, meet scorpion.

Many tried to warn CCSD administrators not to get too cozy with NPRI. After all, NPRI's goal is to starve public education to death! What on earth made Dwight Jones and Amanda Fulkerson believe that Victor Joecks and his merry band of "think tank" teabaggers cared one iota about improving public education? No matter how often they'd let NPRI stooges "slip" into CCSD's secure email network meant for official school business only, NPRI would eventually reach this point and sting them like this.

And now, our kids may end up suffering even more thanks to CCSD's idiocy and NPRI's pure evil.

Suspect is the timing of NPRI’s lawsuit, which comes just five days shy of the 60-day deadline to file a complaint on open-meeting law violations, Haldeman said. Today is the deadline for open-meeting law violations on the June 7 debt management commission meeting.

“If (NPRI) were really interested in the open-meeting law, why would they wait until now to file this lawsuit?” [Joyce Haldeman, the School District’s associate superintendent of community and government relations] said. “It sounds to me like a political maneuver.” [...]

Brager said the commission will hear the ballot initiative again in August to conduct a re-vote “in an abundance of caution.” Both Brager and Haldeman said they were confident the lawsuit would not impact the ballot measure in November.

“It’s important for the children of Clark County because we have AC units that are old and have no lifetime in them anymore,” said Brager, who has had four generations of her family attend Clark County schools. “Children in our community deserve to be able to sit in a classroom that can contain heat and cold.”

They really should have known better. NPRI doesn't give a shit about our kids suffering under excessive heat and cold in decrepit public schools. If that means its PR hacks can spin the "OUTRAGE!!!" into further dismantling CCSD altogether and privatizing even more of what should be public education, then NPRI is happy. Frog, meet scorpion.

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