What else do you call it when the party in supermajority power continues to pass wildly unpopular legislation by just one vote? It certainly feels coordinated. As if everyone knows their part.
Whether it’s the confirmation of Gary Houchens in 2019 (Sen. Julie Raque Adams – District 36 in Jefferson County), or the passage of HB563, Chad McCoy’s voucher bill, passed the House by just one vote (twice!) in 2021. And now, in 2022, the VERY SAME GOP House Rep, who is also the majority whip, manages to eek out exactly enough votes to get the previously dead on arrival charter school bill across the goal post, in just a week’s time, five years after it BARELY passed into law but couldn’t muster enough votes to allow the wolves in waiting to tap into the rich, evergreen SEEK funding pipeline. In less than a year, coming off a pandemic and during a time of incredible tension and turmoil, they manage to pass both the crowning jewels of canned ALEC legislation by exactly the right number of votes. How does one get so lucky? Especially when, if you ask around, other than a few special interest groups, vouchers and charters are unwanted in Kentucky. Something doesn’t add up.
Do you seriously expect me to believe that the strongest union in the state couldn’t convince a single one of their endorsed candidates who voted yes to support not only JCPS’ publicly known stance, but their own purported efforts? It’s certainly what many union members I spoke with believed their dues were funding. Is this not part of the screening questions when deciding who to endorse or continue endorsing? Apparently not. Unless…
Since 2017 or so, we tried to sound the alarms that JCTA leadership is at a minimum not anti-charter, and in fact, appear to be working for the other side. And JCPS is not off the hook, but they tend to be a little more slippery. But in future publications, I intend to demonstrate in greater detail how district leaders made intentional efforts to sacrifice Shawnee and Maupin to the charter school charlatans.
It’s been a “close call” far too many times for us to keep falling for it. Especially when you consider the lackluster effort both JCTA and JCPS put forth to stop the entire swath of anti-JCPS legislation that came out of recent sessions. Hell, JCTA’s entrenched white leaders put more effort into retaining control of their union than they did stopping any one of these bills, including the 20-year efforts to dismantle Kentucky’s public schools and defund teachers’ pensions.
And as you can see in the video above, JCPS had board members saying to us they were going to stop anti-CRT legislation in 2022 by getting the business community to come out strongly against it. In fact, they saw absolutely no need working with grassroots groups because they were confident their approach would stop it. Guess what. It didn’t.
Could it be that some of these JCTA-endorsed lawmakers who cast what could be considered the “lone deciding vote” were also encouraged to lay down and allow these measures to pass? It certainly leaves one to wonder.