School Board Members Who Disagree With Partisan Elections Connected To UnifiED
Image Credit: UnifiED / Facebook
The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
Several Hamilton County School Board Members spoke out against partisan school board races back in October’s special session when the Tennessee General Assembly voted to pass a bill that allowed county political parties to hold primaries. These same school board members received donations to run for school board from individuals and foundations that donate to or are connected to UnifiED.
County Commissioner Tim Boyd had this to say about UnifiEd:
“UnifiEd has a political agenda, and it is not to improve education in Hamilton County. It is to turn Hamilton County from bright red to dark blue.”
Karitsa Jones, Jenny Hill, Marco Perez, board chair Tucker McClendon and vice chair Tiffanie Robinson have all spoken to the Times Free Press over the last two months about their disapproval of partisan races for school board.
“I think political parties have absolutely nothing to do with public education and how we should support our children and [ensure] that they get the equitable education they deserve. I think when you bring parties into things like that, it becomes divisive and one-sided,” Karitsa Jones said. “I think we should leave political parties out of education. School board should remain nonpartisan.”
Tiffanie Robinson said. “I look at education as the most common asset that everyone has rights to, and I think that putting party politics in place will start to align viewpoints or wants that parties have that shouldn’t be associated with education, basically.”
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But one look at those who have donated to their campaigns shows that politics are already part of Hamilton county school board races, and may be influencing those in charge of making decisions for schools, despite their protestations that politics should play no part.
Take Olan Mills II, who donated $50K to the Democratic Party of Tennessee PAC in 2018. Mills donated to the campaigns of Hill, Perez, and Robinson.
Benwood Foundation and Footprint Foundation, both who donate to UnifiED, donated to Hill and Perez (with Footprint Foundation also donating to Robinson.)
Allison Lebovitz, donor to Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, another foundation that funds UnifiED, is “committed to fighting for equality, equity and justice in Chattanooga” and donated to Hill, Jones, and Perez.
Paul Brock is a donor to UnifiED and donated to McClendon, Perez, and Robinson.
These are just a few of the donors brought to The Tennessee Conservative’s attention by a concerned Hamilton county resident who told us, “There is an effort by certain people in our county, who fund UnifiED and others, to turn Hamilton County blue. Why are so many powerful left leaning Hamilton County families funding groups that are so tightly woven into the public school system? It seems like they have an agenda and they are using these groups to accomplish their goals.”
Rep. Scott Cepicky, R-Culleoka, who introduced the bill to make races partisan in the special session in October, has said he believes it is important that voters have all the information possible available to them when making a decision at the ballot box, saying “We are just adding another layer of transparency.”
Both the Republican and the Democratic parties in Hamilton county will have a primary for the 2022 cycle.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One thought on “School Board Members Who Disagree With Partisan Elections Connected To UnifiED”
THE DEMS ALWAYS SCREAM ” TRANSPARENCY ” UNTIL THEY AND THEIR LEFTIST IDEAS ARE UNDER THE TRANSPARENT GLASS! THEN THE TABLES TURN! IF I AM VOTING FOR SOMEONE, I DONT CARE WHAT OFFICE OR COMMISION OR BOARD THEY ARE RUNNING FOR, I WANT TO KNOW WHAT SIDE THEY ARE ON, ARE THEY RED OR ARE THEY BLUE? I WILL DECIDE IF THEY ARE IN THE MIDDLE ON THINGS, BECAUSE I DONT CARE WHAT SPEWS OUT OF THEIR MOUTH, THEIR IDEAS AND THEIR LEADERSHIP IS ALWAYS GOING TO FOLLOW WHAT THEY BELIEVE! PERIOD! OTHERWISE WE WOULD ALL BE PURPLE!