Can Jeffco Schools Be Purchased Again?

What if we told you that Jeffco Schools could easily be purchased and slip back to the same situation we were in before Witt, Newkirk, and Williams were overwhelmingly recalled? Well, it’s true. Elections cost quite a bit of money these days, even School Board seats, which are supposed to be non-partisan.

In November, 3 seats are up for the Jeffco Schools Board of Education and that’s a majority. No word yet on whether Ron Mitchell, Susan Harmon, or Brad Rupert plan to run for re-election, but we hope to see strong candidates who support public education.

To keep a quality school board, everyone will need to help out again! Once we know who the candidates are, we need to figure out who to support and work together to support our beloved Jeffco Schools.

Those precious tax dollars that so many despise paying are the issue because paying qualified and educated human beings to educate and support our children is costly but not replaceable by computers. Education is an investment. Who is getting the dark money to vilify our educators and call them union thugs? Let’s take a look at what was uncovered by the Journal Sentinel!

Douglas County Educational Foundation Castle Rock $25,000.00
University of Denver Denver $485,000.00
Military Community Youth Ministries Colorado Springs $275,000.00
Common Sense Policy Roundtable Forum Highlands Ranch $275,000.00
Junior Achievement – Rocky Mountain, inc. Denver $35,000.00
Leadership Program of the Rockies Denver $25,000.00
Charter Growth Fund Broomfield $12,000,000.00
Independence Institute Golden $465,000.00
Colorado Christian University Lakewood $210,000.00
Becoming American Institute Boulder $50,000.00
Jefferson County Students First Evergreen $75,000.00

https://projects.jsonline.com/database/2017/5/Bradley-foundation-grants-2011-2015.html#!/state.asc.3/

Recognize the names?

http://www.prwatch.org/news/2017/05/13239/bradley-foundation-bankrolls-attacks-unions

“Documents examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) expose a national effort by the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation to defund and dismantle unions, the most significant force for higher wages and better working conditions in America.”

“Publicly, the Bradley Foundation spins this agenda as “employee rights.” Behind the scenes, newly disclosed Bradley documents detail an aggressive political agenda.”

“The Bradley Foundation is pouring money into the anti-union National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation because “Big Labor and trial attorneys are the two principal funding pillars of the left” (NRWLDF, Grant Proposal Record, 11/12/2013). It wants the Independence Institute in Colorado to “defund teacher’s unions and achieve real education reform” at the local level (Barder Fund, 8/18/15).”

“There is no basis for the proposition that ‘defunding labor unions’ is a charitable purpose within the Internal Revenue Code,” attorney Marcus Owen told the Center for Media and Democracy. Before entering private practice, Owen was the Director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the Internal Revenue Service for 10 years.”

“Bradley has given the Colorado-based Independence Institute $1.45 million between 2004-2016, the documents indicate, including multiple grants some years. With the assistance of the Independence Institute, the right-wing Douglas County school board enacted a series of measures, including countywide school vouchers for private and religious schools (later struck down by the courts), plus an end to collective bargaining, teacher tenure, and automatic dues deductions for teachers unions. In 2013, the battle resulted in a high-dollar school board race where unions and the Koch’s Americans for Prosperity group spent heavily.”

“Bradley has been a big funder of this agenda. In 2015, Bradley gave a grant of $100,000 to Independence Institute for “aggressive education reform,” which Bradley says included “neutralizing the power of Colorado’s teachers’ unions by defunding them at the local school district level” (Independence Institute, Grant Proposal Record, 11/10/15).”

“With Bradley funding and encouragement, the bare-knuckled brawl is spreading to other counties.”

“Also in 2015, Bradley gave the Independence Institute another $50,000 grant for its “Education Labor Project.” “The Education Labor Project will pursue a schedule of activities designed to challenge the Colorado teachers union. The activities are aimed at expanding the education reform movement across the state and defending new reform majorities in Jefferson County and Thompson (Loveland) and school districts Adams 1, Mesa 51 (Grand Junction), and Steamboat Springs. The activities planned for this year include the following: supporting local groups working towards changing collective bargaining arrangements that erode union power; create a new publication ‘union playbook’ telling the story of past challenges and successes; utilize the Institute’s research tools and media connections to monitor and publicize existing union abuses; continue with its annual notification of union member teachers and other education employees concerning their right to a political refund, known as ‘Every Member Option’; and monitor developments in public policy reform proposals in the state capitol and informing grassroots reformers of significant challenges and opportunities” (Independence Institute, Grant Proposal Record, 2/24/15).”

“To help with this effort, Bradley also gave a group called “JeffCo Students First” $75,000 to support a “grassroots” effort to advance this school privatization and anti-union agenda. This includes funding for the group’s newspaper.”

 

We don’t have that kind of money but we do have YOU! Real grassroots advocates are worth more than that. Join together, Jeffco! It’ll take all of us working together who Support Jeffco Kids.

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