Governor Bill Lee failed to call on admitted sex offender and state Rep. David Byrd to step down from his leadership post on an education subcommittee following a meeting between Lee and one of Byrd’s accusers. However, Lee’s henchman, House Speaker Glen Casada, removed Byrd from his leadership post following Byrd’s vote in opposition to Lee’s school voucher scheme. Now, a group funded by Bill Lee is attacking Byrd with online ads.
The Tennessee Federation for Children, the Tennessee affiliate of Betsy DeVos’s American Federation for Children, is running ads accusing Byrd of refusing to stand with President Trump and Governor Lee on vouchers.
Before he was elected Governor, Lee gave thousands of dollars to the Tennessee Federation for Children and wrote pieces in favor of school vouchers. Once elected, he hired the former state director of TFC as his policy director.
The message is clear: If you oppose Bill Lee’s school privatization agenda, you’ll face the wrath of dark money political organizations funded by Lee. The attacks on Byrd come after another dark money group, Tennesseans for Student Success, spent money attacking House Education Republicans who stood in the way of Lee’s state charter authorizer. That plan is a way for Lee and his privatizing profiteers to circumvent local school boards and force charters where they aren’t wanted and don’t belong.
The next two to three weeks will be pivotal in the fight for Tennessee’s public schools.
For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport
Your support – a one-time or monthly gift — makes reporting education news possible.
Every Governor has his water boy and Casada is the chosen one for Governor Lee. Byrd was right in voting against this funding scheme that will do NOTHING to improve education but it will sure make Lee’s American Federation for Children happy. It has been proven vouchers as well as Charters do not deliver as promised and that is because what they promise is lies. If they told people the real agenda behind voucher and charters the people would run them out of town.
Pingback: Tennessee Education Report | Done Dirt Cheap