There are only two candidates in the Republican primary on June 5 for District Two on the Montgomery County school board. I am one, the other is Ted Lowry.
To my dismay, Lowry has resorted to phone calls to voters to smear my campaign. Here is the transcript of the call he did on Monday night, May 21:
“But just months before he qualified to run as a Republican Larry Lee voted in the Democrat primary in the Senate Special Election. When real Republicans like us voted for our nominee, Larry Lee voted in the Democrat primary to choose his nominee. Larry Lee has run and lost four time as a Democrat, campaign manager for a Democrat congressional candidate (inaudible) was a paid contractor for the same special interest group who are fighting reforms in the Montgomery schools. Don’t be fooled by Larry Lee.
His record tells us who he really is—a Democrat who will fight against the reforms Montgomery schools desperately need. We can do better. Vote against Larry Lee in the June 5th primary.
Paid for by Lowry for school board, 1532 Old Park Row, Montgomery, AL 36117”
NOT A SINGLE WORD ABOUT WHAT HE WANTS TO DO TO HELP OUR 29,000 PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS.
Just more deceit and deception. Among the things Lowry fails to mention is that my candidacy has been challenged at both the local and state level. The local committee voted UNAMIOUSLY in my favor and the state steering committee voted overwhelmingly for me just last week.
Lowry talks about “real” Republicans. But wouldn’t real Republicans abide by what their local and state party has said Instead of trying to undermine them?
He also fails to mention that in 1968 (50 years ago) I was a member of the Jefferson County, AL Republican Executive Committee helping Judge Perry Hooper run for the U.S. Senate. I was a Republican way before it was “cool” or “convenient.”
And while Lowry trashes Democrats, he obviously does not know that four of the seven school board seats are now held by Democrats and a Republican cannot get anything done without working with them. It might help him to look at all the candidates running for the board on June 5. Some 17 of them are Democrats, only five are Republicans. Obviously he does not understand the reality of this community.
Just why is Lowry so desperate for a seat on the board?
Something he said at a candidate forum sponsored by the Montgomery Advertiser on May 10 may give a clue. He told this crowd that he had done research and three of the top four high schools in the United States are charter schools operated by the BASIS. Company in Arizona.
Not surprisingly, Lowry’s research left much to be desired. For example, as this article from the Washington Post explains, charter schools run by BASIS are woefully inadequate in representing public school populations in Arizona. While the statewide public school populations were three percent Asia, 45 percent Latino and 39 percent white, student bodies in 18 BASIS schools were 32 percent Asian, ten percent Latino and 51 percent white.
In fact, there were NO English Language Learners in the BASIS schools. IN ARIZONA!!
Neither did he mention that parents of students at these schools are “requested” to contribute $1,500 a year per child and that less than 50 percent of all students who enroll in a BASIIS school graduate from one. Finally, BASIS schools spend an average of $2,291 per pupil on administration while public schools spend $638.
My position on charter schools has always been that they should be carefully considered on a case by case basis. We should be diligent with our homework before we approve them.
But homework does not seem to be Lowry’s game plan. Rather, he had rather deal in half-truths and trash.
I have been in hundreds of classrooms and I’ve never seen one labeled as either Republican or Democrat. It is shameful that Ted Lowry puts politics ahead of school kids..