Interior of classroom in elementary school

Interior of classroom in elementary school. Row of empty desks are in illuminated room.

Mama bears have awakened from their hibernation, and Big Education knows it. Union leaders, puppeteering public education for decades, are worried and they should be.

Colorado in the past year has seen the sprouting and growth of grassroots, representative democracy. For years, local school board elections were mostly an afterthought. Candidates often ran unopposed, and some were begged to serve just to fill a chair. That changed last spring when school board public comment periods went from ho-hum assemblages to vociferous conventions. Community members undertook the unthinkable: public participation.

The question is “why?” What has changed? Why are we seeing so much interest in school board races? If you ask Big Education, the adage, “if you want to get involved, start at your local school board” does not apply to these newly expressive parents of various racial, political and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Rather, Big Education goes back to a tried-and-true political ploy of using dehumanizing slander to distract from the essential, substantive discussions about public schooling. The reason for increased interest in school governance, they say, is a conspiracy by parents to propagate boogeymen that don’t exist.

Critical race and critical gender theories? What are those? We don’t teach such disciplines, they tell us, even though the nation’s largest teachers union passed a resolution this summer emphasizing the need for more critical race theory in schools.

School closures, and mandates for masks and vaccines among children? Hey, bumpkins, don’t let your eyes and ears manifest a rational opinion based on actual COVID cases and statistics pertaining to children. We know better than you!

As the union defames concerned parents as unhinged, our federal government’s highest law-enforcement agency also takes aim.

Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice this month announced an FBI initiative to curb supposed “harassment and threats of violence” to school administrators. It came after a component of Big Education, the National School Boards Association, prodded the Biden administration to take action against putative “domestic terrorism and hate crimes” from parents.

Big Education’s “terrorists” slander was so outrageous the association apologized, even though its leaders had collaborated with the White House on its letter before Garland’s announcement.

As it backs from Garland’s Wizard of Oz curtain, Big Education wants to further hoodwink the public. They want us to believe the upstart mama-bear candidates are marionettes for sinister fatcat donors. Conversely, Big Education’s candidates are as pure as early-November snow. That’s the message union-backing Democrats in affluent Summit County are pushing after a groundswell of support for a four-woman slate at odds with the union’s preferred, establishment candidates. In a Facebook post — one complete with dark Halloween-themed scary eyes as a backdrop — Summit Democrats claim the slate “ ‘4 For the Kids’ has raised more than $22,000. Only grassroots can fight that kind of extremist-backed cash.”

Problem is, nearly 80% of the money “4 For the Kids” raised came from Summit County in a race where no candidate has received a donation of more than $500. Meanwhile, banner newspaper ads for the party’s approved candidates don’t hide their financial foundation.

Though claiming their ads “are not authorized by any candidate or committee,” a click on the electronic version, followed by a subsequent click on “donate now,” leads to the Summit County Democrats’ page on ActBlue. There, they are happy to take donations of any size from anyone who cares to cough up to ActBlue — a political action committee for Big Education and its Democratic backers.

According to the Federal Election Commission’s most recent numbers, which run through the end of June, ActBlue had raised and spent $374 million since the start of the year. That is 45% more than any other political action committee in the country.

In Colorado communities where Big Education is more transparent with its political financing, such as Jefferson County Public Schools, only 12% of the $255,000 raised is for the slate of nonunion candidates. There, union-backed candidates have also received more than $36,000 from Students Deserve Better, which has raised $384,000 from union groups to support races across the state.

For the sake of their cubs, the mama bears see through this politicized, unionized deception. So should the rest of us.

The Gazette Editorial Board

Load comments