Cover Your Eyes; Our Legislators' PAC Priorities Are Showing!

If you still think the constant attacks on Tennessee’s teachers are partisan attacks, you’ve got some catching up to do!

The school voucher plan has been deceptively re-named “Education Savings Account,” with the hope that it can be fast-tracked through the legislature before constituents notice they have been had. And this week, all the media is reporting that the charter authorizer bill has been “scaled back,” but they are missing the fact that it STILL takes away YOUR local voice. Check the language: It says charter applicants “may” go to a local BOE. It is NOT required!

Both of these bills are sewn up with one common thread: a thread made of money.

Big,  BIG,  money.

The chart below shows only 3 of the big money groups who have been funding destructive legislation nationwide, for years.

Please call your representatives to let them know that you expect them to work for YOU, the VOTER –
not some BIG-MONEY schemer with an international agenda!

If your browser does’t support the PDF, you can find it right smack here!

 

What is “The American Federation for Children”?

“The American Federation for Children (AFC) is a conservative 501(c)(4) dark money group that promotes the school privatization agenda via the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other avenues.”

“The group was organized and is funded by the billionaire DeVos family…”

“Former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, who was charged with multiple crimes stemming from abuse of his office,” is AFC’s Senior Advisor to its Government Affairs Team.

What is “Students First”?

StudentsFirst works for the adoption of charter schools and school “accountability” programs (school report cards) and educator evaluations based on student achievement (TVAAS).

Founded by Michelle Rhee, to “lay out a legislative agenda with the kinds of laws that states and local jurisdictions should adopt so that real reform can take place.”

StudentsFirst supports “rights of parents to organize and demand the transformation of chronically failing schools,”defined by student performance on standardized testing

“…the idea has been propagated by two controversial right-wing organizations: the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Heartland Institute.”

Also called “Parent Tricker” laws, because they coerce parents into radical and unproven actions that often destroy neighborhood schools, these laws are backed by groups pushing for privatization of public schools.

Bill Cosby is on the Board of Directors.

What is “Stand for Children”

Major funders: the Walton Family, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations, and several Chicago billionaires.

Diane Ravitch criticizes the group for seeking to impose standardized testing on public schools. (Ravitch, Diane,June 14, 2012), “Stand for Children Does Not Stand for Public Education”, dianeravitch.net)

From former “Stand” volunteers: “But in 2009, while we struggled to give voice to the needs of our schools, Stand’s staff was turning away from our concerns, announcing that it expected its members to forgo community advocacy in favor of a new, special agenda. This agenda, emerging seemingly out of nowhere, touted more charter schools, more testing, and punishing teachers and schools for low student scores.” (https://www.citizensforpublicschools.org/editions-of-the-backpack/spring-2012-backpack/an-open-letter-from-former-stand-for-children-activists-about-ballot-measure/)

TN House Education Committee Contact Information

Contact information for your Tennessee House Education Committee and Subcommittee members is in the PDF below. Please contact them to let them know that you want PUBLIC dollars used for PUBLIC schools and that local school boards should be in control of local schools.

House Ed Committees 2019 Sheet1

Pass the Bill and Figure it out Later?!

Please watch this meeting of the Tennessee House Education Subcommittee on Curriculum, Testing, and Innovation regarding creating a new commission (yes, bigger government) to authorize charter schools, after local school districts vote not to authorize them.  (Skip forward to 42:34 – HB 0940)

If the video does not play, you can also access it here.

Please contact ALL members of the Tennessee House Education Committee (the next stop for the bill, HB0940) and tell them that decisions regarding LOCAL schools should be left to your LOCAL boards of education.

Members of the House Education Committee and their contact information can be found here.

You can find additional information on this bill from Andy Spears, here.

and from The Tennessean and Andy Sher, here.