Friday, October 16, 2015

Please Help Fight the Tidal Wave of Money Engulfing the BESE Elections

My home is located in a part of Zachary that is in BESE District 8. Carolyn Hill is my BESE member.

Yesterday I opened my mailbox to find two slick, extra large full color cards extolling the virtues of Hill's only opponent, Jada Lewis. I had been getting mailings almost daily telling me what a wonderful BESE member Jada Lewis, who has probably never attended a BESE meeting, would be. I had also gotten one "hit piece" attacking Carolyn Hill because she had claimed travel expenses for traveling between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, without reference to the fact that BESE often meets in New Orleans. Later yesterday, I received a phone call from someone claiming to be pollster for the upcoming elections, only to find during the "poll" that it was really a push poll attempting to get me to vote for Jada Lewis. Based on this brief summary, can you imagine how much money is being spent just to defeat Carolyn Hill, even though she has done an excellent job of representing educators, parents and students on BESE?

I don't know much about Jada Lewis, except that she seems to have been totally bought by the Lane Grigsby PAC that is spending an obscene amount of money to maintain total control of BESE. I was furious that mostly out of state donors including the Walton family and the Broad Foundation would have the nerve to want to call all the shots concerning the governance of education in Louisiana even though they know almost nothing at all about our state and its educational system. See this article about the major funding for LABI and Grigsby candidates. I resolved that later today, my wife and I who are both lifelong educators will write a personal letter to all the homeowners in our subdivision recommending Carolyn Hill for reelection to BESE. We will hand deliver it to each home and answer questions.  Only by making personal contact with our neighbors can we possibly counteract this tidal wave of money from out-of-state attempting to swallow up the BESE election for the benefit of greedy individuals who want to privatize and profit from our tax dollars at the expense of our children!

Another example, of this attempt to totally control BESE is happening in the 6th district. I have made a personal commitment to support Jason France for this open seat on BESE to replace Chas Roemer who has been the greatest enemy of public education on BESE. The Grigsby PAC has chosen to support two candidates for the BESE 6th District that are obviously committed to support their agenda. Two days ago  I watched almost identical, slick television ads back to back for Jason Engen and Larlee Taylor containing the same background music with happy children etc. etc. telling us that both of these candidates want to reward good teachers with pay raises. This is code for merit pay which has already been tried in Louisiana and has been a dismal failure. But the reformers don't care. That along with privatization of schools is just part of their plan for us, and they don't care if it has never worked, they want to jam it down our throats!

What can you do if you are a concerned parent, educator, and taxpayer who does not want your tax money to support out-of-state charter entrepreneurs or crazy unfunded mandates that will drive more dedicated teachers away from the profession? Please do what I am doing, and take it upon yourself to tell the truth to your neighbors. Do it now! Ask your friends, relatives and neighbors to simply vote against all BESE candidates that are receiving out-of-state money. You can know them by the huge amount of money they are spending and their messages extolling the alleged benefits of "school choice" and education reform in general. 

Please see the Flip BESE Facebook site to learn about the BESE candidate that is supporting our values in your district. My personal recommendations to you are as follows:
  1. BESE District 1: Lee Barrios
  2. BESE District 2: Kara Washington
  3. BESE District 3: Dr Lottie Beebe
  4. BESE District 4: Mary Harris
  5. BESE District 5: Johnny Fatheree
  6. BESE District 6: Jason France
  7. BESE District 7: Mike Kreamer
  8. BESE District 8: Carolyn Hill
Early voting is happening now, and the election is October 24. The efforts by the enemies of public education will only intensify and the character attacks on our good candidates will be unleashed at the last minute so that we cannot react in time. Please do your part to save public education now! No one else knows more about this than you do. Please don't wait another minute. Talk to your neighbors now. Most people know nothing about this election, and they will be happy to follow your recommendation!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been forwarding you blog and Tom Aswell's to peers and friends. I tried to share with many others only to be told they "don't get into politics"!! How can highly educated people be so uneducated about their profession? It is mind boggling to think the future of public education is being bought and sold and so many educators feel it is beneath them to "Get involved"! Bet they will get involved when our jobs go away, our TSRL is broke and our medical benefits are gone! What are the Teachers Colleges doing to prepare politically aware and active graduates? Where are the college professors voicing their professional viewpoints? Where are all those Deans of Education voicing their knowledge of what is happening to public teaching? Why are they silent? Are Dr. Beebe, Dr. Schneider the only ones trying to voice the truth? Are there others making themselves heard? Our profession is becoming unsustainable, who would enter a career field where you are blamed for everything, overwhelmed with rules and regulations and the associated paperwork, have no rights and can be at the mercy of vindictive administrators, helicopter gunship parents and apathetic students who control your Compass scores all for low pay, poor benefits and an uncertain retirement benefit? All in a state where education is stuck in the 70's,a state that scores last in everything good and still can't realize that evolution is based on scientific evidence? Wonderful teachers and administrators who work 24/7 to support teachers, students and parents are being dumped for "Yes" people who don't cause waves or ask questions! Many of us cry going to and coming from work. It is an embarrassingly soul suckling and exhausting job; but the public education warriors keep showing up. Keep trying. Keeping falling on their swords for public education.