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Tea Party Running For School Board

Tea Party Running For School Board

It looks like Tea Party activists have taken a page from other hard-right political movements and are making a push for representation on local school boards. 

The timing couldn’t be worse for schools that are already starved for funds after decades of relentless spending cuts and school consolidations.  For many districts, local property tax increases are the only reasonable means to plug sometimes billion dollar budget gaps. 

Now those districts have to face anti-tax activists who are intent on decimating public education by once and for all turning off the funding spigot. 

Tea Party groups are not simply challenging local property tax increases.  They are challenging school staff they perceive as “unnecessary” and calling to question the idea that smaller class size results in a better learning environment.

So far these efforts have been met with mixed success.  In places like Florida and Pennsylvania, local Tea Party groups have been successful in challenging teacher raises (at a whopping 1.5%) while in Rockford, Illinois every Tea Party endorsed school board candidate lost. 

In the weeks leading up to the Rockford elections, the Tea Party media machine did an ad blitz, linking teacher pay to increases in local property taxes.  The party claimed teacher pay was exorbitant, essentially parroting the talking points circulated among Republicans and their allies in the attack on public employees.

The message failed, largely because people just don’t see teachers getting rich and because many also understand that public education is a necessary investment for long term economic sustainability.

It’s too early to tell whether the Tea Party will really have much success at the school board level nationwide, but the fact that they have targeted these seats is a development any advocate of public education should be paying close attention to.

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photo courtesy of stevendepolo via Flickr

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57 comments

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1:44AM PDT on May 8, 2011

Thanks for the article.

8:33AM PDT on May 7, 2011

Too late!

Schools abdicated their responsibility to edcucate decadses ago!

Original Message:
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Ira left a comment on the following article:


Tea Party Running For School Board
DESTROY THE TEABAGGERS BEFORE THEY DESTROY OUR CHILDREN, OUR SCHOOLS, AND OUR SOCIETY AS A WHOLE. WE MUST RECALL THEM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE--VOTE THEM ALL OUT! THEY ARE A CURSE ON AMERICA.

8:18AM PDT on May 7, 2011

Something needs to be done to get the school boards out of the teacher union's pocket!!!

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Mary left a comment on the following article:


Tea Party Running For School Board
This does not surprise me they are trying to get their foot in the door in all parts of government this is just one way.

9:52AM PDT on May 5, 2011

You mena like the liberals that have been in charge for decades??

"It's a classic fascist stunt. Infiltrate the education system and rewrite history. A whole generation is cleanly "educated" to a specific point of view while simultaneously being rendered incapable of recognizing the lies."

9:50AM PDT on May 5, 2011

So we should vote for Demonistas!?

"don't ever vote for any republinazi or teabagger"

12:05AM PDT on May 4, 2011

DESTROY THE TEABAGGERS BEFORE THEY DESTROY OUR CHILDREN, OUR SCHOOLS, AND OUR SOCIETY AS A WHOLE. WE MUST RECALL THEM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE--VOTE THEM ALL OUT! THEY ARE A CURSE ON AMERICA.

7:41AM PDT on May 3, 2011

This does not surprise me they are trying to get their foot in the door in all parts of government this is just one way.

6:42AM PDT on May 3, 2011

Dont suprise me at all. Property taxes are the largest chunk of tases home and Viehicle owners Pay so if you want to cut taxes that is where to start. I drive a 20 year old car just because of the Taxes here in Ks but I would love to get something more environmental friendly.

10:11PM PDT on May 2, 2011

It's a classic fascist stunt. Infiltrate the education system and rewrite history. A whole generation is cleanly "educated" to a specific point of view while simultaneously being rendered incapable of recognizing the lies.

Unlike the weird analogies that the likes of glenn beck peddle, this IS analogous to what Hitler did. He established an alternate history designed to focus on a fabricated enemy (Jews) and established a mythical fabricated race (Aryan).

Creating a clear enemy on which to focus hatred, while simultaneously creating a clear identity to rally around, Hitler was able to mobilize the masses.

Forcing issues into a black-and-white mold, with no middle ground, is a powerful propaganda tool. Polarizing an issue preys on emotions and stifles productive debate. It makes it easier to manipulate public policy and, for a little while, control people.

Remember the "You're either for us or against us!" crap that Dubya used? It got him enough support for the Iraq war, and then enough support to ensure re-election. Publicly dumbing things down is very effective.

An analytical, questioning education based on accurate history is the enemy of all ruling classes. The people need to be smart enough to do things, but conditioned enough to swallow the B.S.

9:08PM PDT on May 2, 2011

don't ever vote for any republinazi or teabagger

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