At a time when the saccharine of holiday spirit may sometimes overwhelm you, we offer this pause, this respite, this refreshment: Watchdogs least-favorite Floridian.
May we present Andy Ford.
The Grinch who stole Christmas has nothing on this Florida Education Association president.
Not even the Grinch had it in him to snuff-out the educational prospects of tens of thousands of poor children.
Fords FEA, the state teachers union, launched two lawsuits (still ongoing) aimed at killing a tax-credit scholarship program and its recent expansion.
The program affords 70,000 of Floridas poorest students, mostly minorities, the opportunity to attend private school. Not a single tax dollar is involved. But, well, humbug!
A separate program on Fords hit-list allows parents of severely disabled schoolchildren to use funding to obtain educational services and therapies outside of their assigned public schools. Fords argument: The state should increase all education spending so that economically disadvantaged parents wouldnt send their children to better schools.
He neglects to point out that K-12 funding in Florida hit a record $20.3 billion this year. A Florida Watchdog investigation found 45 FEA leadership employees made six-figures salaries-- enough to escape the costs of a poor education.
At $395,000 per year, FEA president Andy Ford stands alone as the highest paid union member in all of Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott earns just a third of that amount -- but collects just $0.01 per year.
This story was extracted from a longer Dec. 30 Watchdog.org piece, "Countdown! Worst People of 2014." William Patrick is a reporter for Watchdog.org. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @WillPatrick77.