February 21, 2012
LEXINGTON, KY—The Family Foundation today called on the Kentucky Education Association (KEA) and the Jefferson County Teachers' Association (JCTA) to abandon their opposition to charter schools to allow a bill to be voted on in the Kentucky General Assembly this session. "The teachers’ unions and their allies constitute an educational Iron Curtain that is preventing students from getting a better education," said Martin Cothran, spokesman for the group. "They need to give up simply being intransigent and join the educational Free World."
"Sharron Oxendine, tear down this wall!" said Cothran, referencing the president of the KEA.
"We need a policy of prestroika in the teachers’ unions of this state so that they can be brought into the 21st century. As it is, groups like the KEA are the equivalent in the education world of North Korea: they are unwilling to give up the power they have accumulated and they use that power to resist positive change."
The comments came in the wake of a State House of Representatives hearing of a charter school bill last week in which testimony was heard, but a vote was not allowed to be taken. "Thanks to the teachers’ unions, there is going to develop an education gap between Kentucky and most of the rest of the states which now have successful charter schools," Cothran predicted. He also pointed out that the intransigence of teachers’ unions had potentially cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in "Race to the Top" funds from the federal government.