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Billy Townsend tells the story in this post of Hillsborough County in Florida, where parents and community activists are actively resisting the State Legislature’s demand for privatization of public schools.
It is a fascinating post that shows that regular people can beat big money and political power when they get angry enough about scams and shady real estate deals and schools that exclude limited-English-proficient children and children with disabilities.
Here is a small part of the story:
The anti-privatization, anti-fraud, pro-human being approach to public education in Florida — of which I’m proud to have been an early advocate — was politically ascendant in this state at the community level when COVID struck and temporarily overshadowed it.
Now it’s back, thanks to Hillsborough; and it’s much more consequential than the performative battles over 2024 presidential election talking points currently making the most news.
This movement elected me in 2016 in Polk County. It got rid of former Senate President Joe Negron’s wife a couple years ago. It purged a number of voucher-loving Democrats in recent primaries. It helped Karen Castor Dentel in Orange County win 72 percent of the vote in August after the charter industry labeled her “Public Enemy Number 1.” (They also labeled me “Public Enemy Number 1,” which is the name of this newsletter now. Yes, they had two number 1s.)
Open the link and be inspired.