Tag Archive for: ParentsDefendingEducation

Democratic Activists Are Dishing Out Millions To Keep CRT, Gender Theory In Schools

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

An education nonprofit that labels itself as non-partisan is pouring millions of dollars into political groups ahead of school board elections, according to Politico.

The Campaign for Our Shared Future, which works for “equitable, anti-racist programs, practices and policies” in K-12 education, is targeting school board elections in red states including Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, and Michigan, with a plan to reach at least 15 states, according to Politico. Executive Director Dr. Heather Harding said the group has raised at least $9 million for voter education efforts and plans to raise more. (RELATED: ‘We Are Being Censored’: Co-Founder Of Conservative Moms Group Blasts Twitter)

The campaign branches for Campaign For Our Shared Future were registered by two groups run by Arabella Advisors, a group known for pushing “Democratic dark money nonprofit groups,” Politico reported. New Venture Fund, which centers its work in “race, equity, diversity and inclusion” and the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a group that works for “economic equity and racial justice,” are backing Campaign For Our Shared Future.

“After two years of being accused of a fake ‘astroturf’ movement, imagine the surprise of first-time activists and average parents from across the country to see that Arabella Advisors – a massive, dark money-funded network – has poured eight figures into jumping on the education bandwagon,” Parents Defending Education President Nicole Neily told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “It’s unsurprising that democratic donors are panicked about how their allies have mismanaged this issue – but no amount of money can make up for the fact that at the end of the day, they truly believe that they know better than we do how to raise our children… and that is a losing message, period.”

Harding’s work history includes the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Teach For America, which values a “shared commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness.”

Campaign For Our Shared Future currently works with Our Turn, a youth activism group that focuses on social justice issues like immigration reform, Politico reported.

The education group provides a “voting guide” for school board elections in several red states and provides information on what makes a “good school board candidate” including someone who is fairly involved in the school, according to the website. “Extremists are causing chaos” in school board meetings, the group says, providing an example of a Florida man who challenged the school’s equity statement and deemed it “indoctrination.”

The group also called parents who opposed mask mandates in a Virginia school “conspiracy theorists,” the website shows.

Next, the group plans to target Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin but has not revealed in what ways, and will work with Florida Student Power, a group of students focused on LGBTQ, racial, and women reproductive injustices, Politico reported.

“It’s clear to me that the battle continues to grow,” Harding told the outlet. “We think that presidential politics will continue to keep schools sort of in their crosshairs. We don’t find that productive to the actual work of learning, so we do hope that as more donors join us we can be broader, and go deeper so that public schools continue to be a backbone of democracy.”

Campaign For Our Shared Future did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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This article was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

National School Board Association’s Contempt for Parents Divides Organization

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

26 state school board associations distance themselves from national group

More than half of state school board associations have distanced themselves from the national association after it sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking for federal intervention to investigate parents who protest at local meetings.

Of the 26 that have repudiated the letter, 11 have discontinued their membership with the National School Boards Association (NSBA) after Kentucky did so Wednesday.

In the Sept 29 letter, the NSBA likened parents protesting the teaching of critical race theory, mask mandates and other local school decisions to domestic terrorists and sought federal help.

The NSBA is a national association that state school board associations are members of and pay dues to.

In response to NSBA’s letter, the U.S. Justice Department and Merrick Garland instructed the FBI to monitor and investigate parents protesting at local school board meetings.

Parents Defending Education emailed 47 state school board associations for comment on the NSBA’s Sept. 29 letter. Hawaii and Washington, D.C. associations are not NSBA members and Virginia and Louisiana had already made public statements by the time PDE sent the letter.

PDE asked the associations to confirm or deny if they were in agreement with the NSBA’s position, to state how they define “intimidation,” “harassment,” and “threat,” and if they planned on reporting individuals in their states to the U.S. Department of Justice. It also published their responses online.

As of Wednesday, 26 states have distanced themselves from the NSBA’s letter: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Among them, 11 states have taken action by withdrawing their membership, participation, or dues from NSBA: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.

Several states did not respond to PDE’s letter at all: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. California replied by stating that it declined to respond to the questions.

“We believe the letter from NSBA leadership demonstrated how out of touch the national association is with the concerns of local school boards and the principle of local control,” Ohio’s association said. “Because of that, OSBA no longer sees the value of continued NSBA membership.”

Pennsylvania’s association said NSBA’s letter saying comparing upset parents to domestic terrorists “was the final straw” after the organization had already been questioning the value of keeping its NSBA membership. It added that NSBA had “fomented more disputes and cast partisanship on our work on behalf of school directors, when we seek to find common ground and support all school directors in their work, no matter their politics.”

The New Hampshire School Boards Association said it plans on withdrawing its membership but has not yet done so officially.

The Montana School Board Association will formally leave the NSBA in July 2022, as it already renewed its membership in July of this year.

Alabama withheld its dues to NSBA and plans to vote on whether to leave in December. Florida did not submit dues to NSBA and expressed its opposition to the NSBA’s position. Kentucky’s association leadership is currently evaluating the benefits of continued membership in NSBA. Mississippi says it doesn’t support NSBA’s action and will be meeting to address the situation.

Many of the associations that responded to Parents Defending Education said they had not been asked or informed by NSBA before it sent the letter. In fact, the letter was sent without their knowledge or input from the state associations it is supposed to represent, they added.

Delaware’s association said NSBA’s letter “was a clear overreach” and “violates the fundamental principle of local authority, upon which the Delaware public education system is founded and structured.”

Idaho’s association said, “Had we been asked, we would have readily pointed out the mischaracterization of parents and patrons in our communities as domestic terrorists who merited federal investigation. We want parents and patrons engaged in our public schools – we have sought that for years.

Illinois’ association said, “This is not the first disagreement that IASB has had with NSBA. Prior to this incident, the IASB Board of Directors was evaluating its relationship with NSBA. IASB previously expressed concerns to NSBA about problems related to governance, transparency, and financial oversight. IASB suspended payment of dues to NSBA for 2021-2022 and sought to address these concerns through changes to the governance structure of the national association.

“IASB disagrees with NSBA’s decision to request federal intervention, and the decision by NSBA leadership to tie the request to claims of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

New Jersey’s association said it doesn’t endorse the letter, and NSBA’s position doesn’t “reflect the beliefs and policies of NJSBA.” It said it has expressed its disapproval of the letter and “strongly supports the ability of parents and citizens to voice their opinions at board meetings, which is a fundamental principle of our democracy.”

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This article was published on November 11, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Center Square.