Answering a Challenge for “Full Disclosure” of My *Secret Funding*
On March 4, 2015, I wrote a post about a Louisiana teacher promoting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in the op/eds and who happens to be under contract with the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) as a paid “common core expert.”
The teacher did not disclose that she is being financially compensated specifically for promoting CCSS.
I took issue with both the compensation and the failure to disclose.
On March 6, 2015, I had a comment connected to the above post awaiting approval. It was written under the name, SickOfYourNonsense.
Here is what Sick had to say:
I think it’s time for full disclosure from you.
Who has been paying you under the table to keep our children tied to low standards and the worst curriculum in the nation,
Who has been paying you at all?
Setting aside the spitting-lizard tone of the above comment, allow me to offer “full disclosure” of my finances related to my advocacy for public education.
Let me begin with this: I am under contract with no entity, neither public nor private, nor with any individual for financial compensation for this blog, which is my primary, sustained means of communicating my research on the systematic privatization of public education.
I charge no fees to any readers of this blog. Any and all can read it for free.
To date, I have not sold the rights to any of my blog posts to any third parties.
My primary income is my teaching salary. It was slightly less in 2014 than in 2013. Our district allows teachers three days per year for “personal” absences. These I have used toward events related to education reform for the past three years (2012-14). Once I exhaust the three days, I must record my absence as “unexcused,” which means my teaching pay is docked. From 2012 to 2014, I collected no speaking fees for speaking engagements; I only asked that organizations pay for my travel, and in cases in which I needed to take an “unexcused” day from school, that the organization reimburse me for the teaching pay that I lost.
In February 2015, I collected my first speaking fees (in addition to travel expenses and docked pay reimbursement). I did not function in any capacity in which failure to disclose remuneration could be construed as manipulating my audience.
I have written two books. The first was published in April 2014. The publisher only pays its authors once per year, in April. So, as of this March 2015 writing, I have not yet received any money for my first book.
The second book is due to be published in May 2015. The publisher was willing to pay for having the book indexed (approx. $700) and for copyright permission to use a Gates interview in the Washington Post ($784). This would have meant taking these fees out of future profits from the book. However, one of my colleagues held a fundraiser in January 2015, and she and others raised the money to pay for both index and WP permission.
She also donated the $100 annual fee for my blog, and others donated an additional $300 just because they appreciate my research.
Every cent of these donations will be reported on my 2015 taxes.
My accountant decided in 2013 that what I have with my writing and speaking actually constitutes a “business,” so he filed the necessary tax forms. For 2013 and 2014, my “business” garnered no profits.
Just as I have no contractual arrangements to advocate for a particular position, I have no “under the table” arrangements.
Therefore, to be clear regarding the latter, here is my table:
Notice that there is nothing under it.