Privatization of Public Education

Is a JCPS Takeover Bevin’s Charter School CheckMate?

It’s no secret, Bevin wants to bring charters to Kentucky, and it’s also no secret he intends to start in Louisville’s West End. He said so.

It’s also no secret, he’s been making plays from the #ALECPlaybook to accomplish this goal. From attacking pensions, to attacking teachers for standing up for their students, we’ve seen these moves play out in other states. From high-stakes testing and random CSI metrics that are used to label nearly half of Kentucky schools as “failing,” to “broken on purpose” cuts to funding and unfunded mandates, to deprofessionalizing the profession of education, to raising graduation requirements without raising the level of supports, to taking away parent and teacher voice, we’ve been experiencing the death of public education by 1000 cuts. They don’t even hide it, as most of these plays are even published on the ALEC website.

Following the most recent JCPS audit, it’s been made pretty clear: Given the opportunity, Bevin’s choice for KDE Commissioner, Wayne Lewis, have every intention of taking over JCPS, regardless of how our district completes the compromise’s corrective action plan.

Matt Bevin, Wayne Lewis, Hal Heiner, Gary Houchens … Not only are they long-time players in the education reform business, they are playing chess and using our students as pawns. They’re down to just a few moves left, and they currently have us in check. They may have been unsuccessful in obtaining their charter school funding mechanism for their third year in a row.

So their attention shifts to JCPS. Once Lewis takes over JCPS, he and he alone will serve as the decision-making authority, replacing our elected board. He will have the ability, among other things, to convert existing schools, anywhere from Manual to Shawnee, into Charters. No funding mechanism required.

Here’s how we can stop them. Stay with me.

  • Lewis was chosen by the Kentucky Board of Education.

This quote, from former KBE Member Roger Marcum is telling.

“Bevin and Heiner are running the Department of Education. As long as (Wayne Lewis) is willing to do what they are telling him to do, everything will be fine.”

Roger Marcum, a former chairman and eight-year member of the education board
  • The Kentucky Board of Education was appointed by Bevin.

The Senate has to confirm the most recent of Bevin’s appointments, and they have yet to do so. These include Hal Heiner and Gary Houchens.

The senate has waited until the final day of session to confirm these appointments. In fact, the resolutions were not even filed until the veto period started. If we reach midnight on March 28th without these being called for any vote in the Senate, or the resolutions fail, these individuals will come off the KBE and cannot be put back on for at least 2 years.

  • Stop the resolutions, Stop KBE, Stop Lewis, Stop Bevin, Stop Charters in Kentucky. Are you still with me?

Help our Senators understand how they hold the last line of defense against a state takeover of JCPS, and the final barrier between local control of our public schools and profit centers for out of state investors. Contact them below:

Email ALL KY Senators in just one click.

If that doesn’t work, try copying and pasting from here.

Add your message regarding voting against any resolutions to confirm Bevin’s appointments to KBE.

For more information…

Listen to West End residents who say they don’t welcome charters in their communities.

Or read this opinion piece: Religion and charter schools are behind Matt Bevin’s JCPS takeover.

Here’s a Twitter thread from JCPS Parent Rob Mattheu @LouSchoolBeat regarding the KBE appointees.

Here’s another thread from Rob, this time about Wayne Lewis’ (lack of) qualifications.

Please email ALL KY Senators here and ask them to please support public education in Jefferson County, and to please do everything in their power to not let these resolutions to confirm KBE appointments pass.

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