Local Pastors Nail It on Charter Schools

Bruce Maples (bruceinlouisville@gmail.com)
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Two Louisville pastors have weighed in on charter schools, and they brought their truth-telling skills from the pulpit to the op-ed page.

Here are their opening lines, from an op-ed in the Courier-Journal:

As pastors in Louisville we cannot remain silent while Gov. Matt Bevin uses our Jefferson County Public Schools and its teachers as a punching bag in his warm-up for the big match.

On a radio show last week Gov. Bevin stated, “JCPS is a disaster in terms of the educational results. They have more failing schools than the entire rest of the state combined. It is an absolute, unmitigated disaster …”

The governor’s comments were not only traumatic and demoralizing to dedicated teachers and students across our city, they were simply false.

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Dr. Joe Phelps (Highland Baptist) and Dr. Kevin Cosby (St. Stephen Baptist Church) are both friends and co-workers: they are co-chairs of Empower West, a black-white clergy and church coalition working for justice in West Louisville. Having learned more about charter schools, and the threat they pose to our public schools, they are speaking out – and they are speaking out strongly and clearly.

Here’s one more quote, before you go read the entire piece:

As offensive as Gov. Bevin’s “unmitigated disaster” talk is to those who support JCPS’s  dedicated teachers, our larger concern is how this accusation becomes a set-up to the next move of the governor’s group in Frankfort: pushing charter schools— an answer which appears to come straight out of the legislative playbook of the American Legislative Exchange Council, aka ALEC.

Every American should become familiar with this dangerous cartel of some of the nation’s wealthiest, like the Koch brothers, whose plutocracy playbook includes the privatization of our public schools through the spread of charter school.

Seriously, go read the entire article, then share it with others. It not only speaks the truth about charters, it also paints a picture of both challenge and hope for our public schools. As they say, it is time for us to band together to make our public schools better, not only as good public policy, but as moral imperative.

Can I get an Amen?

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