And I’m being outspent by my opponents’ dark money PACs 100 to 1.
One of those PACs is tied to election deniers, MAGA extremists and SPLC-designated hate groups. The efforts appear to be coming from out of state. I filed a complaint with KREF on Sept. 9, but to date, they have not been able to locate the entities and individuals behind the deceptive campaigns in order to serve them with the allegations against them so the 15-day response period can commence. The right-wing extremist candidate they are supporting pulled his child from JCPS when he did not get his way with regards to masking, returning to school safely during a pandemic, the teaching of accurate history and the harms that racism causes to this day, to the point of bullying his child’s teachers. He wrote numerous letters to board members showing us exactly who he is.
Another PAC that is endorsing the incumbent has been led by the same man for over two decades. Over the years, he has been embroiled in numerous controversies when it comes to campaign violations, including recruiting someone to run for school board in a district that they did not live in and lying about their address, to sabotaging efforts of authentic concerned parents who wanted to run. But the greatest reason for concern, in my opinion, is how tightly he controls who serves on the PAC, how the clandestine election process benefits entrenched white leaders, and how the vote tabulation software can be easily manipulated to show whatever results he claims. This board chooses which candidates to endorse (or not endorse) and how much money to spend on their campaigns. For example, BSK is currently spending five times more on TV ads for the white incumbents who voted with him on the mask mandate, than they are on the Black incumbents who voted with their constituents. Teachers who are members of JCTA pay dues, and some of the dues money goes into BSK. They tell me their input on who to endorse is never sought, and there have been numerous incidents where members were outraged by their endorsements.
I’m just a PTA mom trying to be part of the solution. These individuals running to represent my community are latecomers to the public education scene, who don’t have the slightest idea what’s at stake, nor do they have a clue about how to address the crises that face our schools. I’ve been in the trenches literally doing this work for over a decade. When my current board member showed us that he either can’t or won’t hold district leaders accountable, and more recently, has refused to stand up to the bullies who continue to disrupt our meetings, I knew he needed to be replaced. When I couldn’t find anyone else to do this increasingly hostile, thankless, unpaid job, I stepped up. I don’t ask people to do things I’m not willing to do myself.
Below is the press conference held in front of Van Hoose befor the JCPS Board meeting Tuesday night, where one of the organizations I lead, Dear JCPS, announced the launch of our new Political Action Committee. Now JCPS teachers have a choice.
Inside the board meeting, the topic of the legislative priorities was on the agenda. I also spoke about my experiences over the past decade.
You can watch my speech here.
Please help this PTA Mom have a fighting chance to save Kentucky’s schools. We are the largest district in our state by nearly three times. We are the largest state in the country that is not decimated by charter schools and vouchers, yet. My race is not the only linchpin, but it is A linchpin because our board’s voting margin on important issues tends to be 4-3 and it tends to be divided along racial lines. If we lose just one seat to right wing extremists, we will lose our district to fascist ideologies. My board member has already shown us which side he’s on. In the other races, the incumbents are
Without some kind of hail Mary miracle play, incumbents are most likely to win, especially when they have hundreds of thousands of dollars of ill-gotten funds funneled into their race. The ONLY way we are going to win this is through word of mouth. I’ve been asking students to participate in a social experiment. Please help us spread the message by donating to our campaign, volunteering and telling everyone you know to vote #GPA4JCPS!