It’s Been a Busy Week and It’s Only Monday

Between the weekend hubbub over the “Russian assets” in teachers’ pensions, to the lawsuit that was announced against JCPS this morning, we haven’t had a moment to rest, much less process what it all means, but in case you missed it, here is a recap:

Russian “assets”

Twitter caught fire when false information about the amount of money TRS lost when a Russian bank it was invested in went to practically worthless overnight. Many allowed the quick save of the fund manager to allow them to lose sight of the bigger picture when it was explained that they only USED to own such a large amount of stock in said bank and that they actually eked out a slight gain before bailing out, once they scraped the couch cushions for dividend payments.

Nevermind that the S&P 500 performed close to 20% annually over the same time period that this particular investment stayed flat. According to Chris Tobe and others, what people are missing is that no one really knows if what they are telling us is true, because they don’t really disclose any of this information to their investors or the public. And in fact, the (mis)management of these assets, as well s failed efforts to hold shady players accountable, is a topic we’ve been sounding the alarm on for quite some time. But not nearly as long as Chris Tobe or Dr. Randy Wieck.

Chris is a financial advisor and JCPS parent of special-needs student. He is also a former KY pension fund trustee and author of Kentucky Fried Pensions.
Dr. Randy Wieck is a 20+ year US history teacher from Manual. He was also a member of JCTA since before Brent McKim became president over 20 years ago. He knows his history!

News media and other apologists were quick to explain away the overstated loss as if “there’s nothing to see here,” but don’t overlook the fact that this is not the first time Russia has tried to have a hand in Kentucky money schemes (watch Ozark). Remember that shady Braidy Industries deal that passed the state legislature on the last hour of session when Bevin was still governor? Turns out they had ties to the Kremlin.

Are KY Teachers retirement assets used to fund disinformation campaigns that impact our elections? Were they used to help fund the insurrection? What about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

From the article:

“These are secretive contracts that are misused in a lot of ways, a lot of corruption and a lot of high fees,” Tobe said. “Also the FBI just recently said that many of these Russian oligarchs use private equity partnerships to launder their money.”

Justice for AN!

Next, watch the press announcement regarding the lawsuit below and listen to AN’s brave testimony! Not only was she assaulted by a fellow classmate, her trauma was compounded by the school’s administration for dropping the ball and even treating her as bad, if not worse, than the bully who assaulted her. She was not listened to, but the bully was taken for his word. To make matters worse, she was retaliated against, forced out of programs and it even sounds like stories were made up to cover the adults who made mistakes instead of making things right. 


It’s a Pattern

Also today, we learned there was information on an Instagram page regarding a pattern of alleged coverups of repeated sexual misconduct by a student at another one of our district’s high schools. I’m not going to call the school out by name because this is not an isolated case and high schools should not be treated differently based on the demographics of the students they serve. But just know that there is a lot of these same types of toxic patterns of behaviors coming to light right now and these stories are just the tip of the iceberg.
If we want structural change, we can’t keep sweeping these problems under the rug. And dropping the ball after demanding accountability. But you know what’s even worse than sweeping problems under the rug? COVERING THEM UP! Knowing there is a problem and creating false information to try to make the problem go away is not only unethical, it’s most likely illegal. And if someone does it once, they probably have done it numerous times. There is no accounting for the number of people harmed, the amount of time and resources wasted, and taxpayer dollars spent on settlements and lawsuit payouts. And therefore, no accountability.
Until now… 
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