June 2024


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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Partisan politics in our schools



School boards become next front in partisan battle

Education policy draws higher interest as political parties put more resources into races

By Alex Burness Reporter-Herald Staff Writer

In a public comment at Wednesday night’s Thompson School District Board of Education meeting, Windsor’s Amie Toerge lit into Bryce Carlson, the board’s vice president, accusing him of helping usher partisan politics into the district.

“I was appalled to learn that (Carlson) is currently serving as a member of both the board of the Larimer County GOP and the Thompson board,” Toerge said, before berating him for what she viewed as a violation of board policy.

“You should resign from the Thompson school board of education immediately,” she concluded, and many in the crowd of about 200 applauded in agreement.

Had Toerge’s comments come only eight hours earlier, her case might have been stronger. However, Carlson resigned from the county Republican board shortly before noon Wednesday, stating in an email to the board’s chairman that his responsibilities in Thompson have prevented him from devoting adequate attention to his political obligations. Despite resigning before the meeting, Carlson’s name was not removed from the Larimer GOP’s website until Thursday morning.

And as for the fact that most of the Thompson community learned of his party ties the same day he cut them? “Coincidental,” Carlson said. “It wasn’t in response to (Toerge’s) comment by any means.”

The ‘conservative slate’

Though Wednesday’s meeting alerted many to the strength of his Republican allegiance, it’s well known that Carlson leans to the right, as do fellow board majority members Bob Kerrigan, Carl Langner and Donna Rice.

Carlson, Rice, Langer and Rocci Bryan advertised it last fall, in fact, pooling campaign funds to send a mailer asking voters to support Thompson’s “conservative slate.” The world “Republican” never appeared in that ad, though. Thompson stipulates that “no candidate may run representing a political party,” and, technically, no one did.

However, the four candidates had a host of supporters to do their bidding. They were billed as the district’s “Republican candidates” in one mailer, and the Larimer GOP itself distributed a “TSD Board of Education Report Card,” giving A-plus grades to the conservatives and failing marks to Lori Hvizda Ward, Jeff Berg, Gerald Lauer and Janice Marchman. Only Hvizda Ward won her race.

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The Republican agenda is being funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers. Following is just one article about their meddling in schools. A search of the web will find many more articles.

How the Koch Brothers Backed Public-School Segregation

The political right really wants to do away with public education. A web search for “conservatives against public schools”  brings up many articles. Here are some samples.

Why the Right Hates Public Educations – Rethinking Schools.


 Republicans Substitute Conservative Ideology For Science and History In Public Schools

These articles will demonstrate where the Thompson School District might be headed. Is this what the citizens of Loveland – Berthoud desire. I think not. These “reform” candidates want to “re-form” our school system into something that fits their ideological framework, not something that is good for our children.

Do you want to know what teachers are like, then read this by a student’s mother.

Share This With All the Schools, Please 



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