John Kirtley’s Unwarranted Florida End Zone Dance

Education privatization’s top fundraiser, John Kirtley, was patting himself on the back yesterday for the Florida primary victories of a “bipartisan coalition of more than 20 candidates who support expanded educational opportunities for Florida families.” The list of victors includes ten House Republicans, six House Democrats, and two Senate Republicans. Kirtley reveals that Florida Federation for Children paid for electioneering in 18 races.

John F. Kirtley, the vice chairman of the American Federation for Children, noted that last night’s showing by Democrats illustrates the growingly broad nature of the coalition in favor of educational opportunities.

“Yesterday’s victories confirm the trend that has been happening in Florida and across the country for years, and that’s increasingly strong bipartisan support for giving kids access to the educational opportunities they all deserve,” Kirtley said. “We look forward to seeing even more victories in the general election in order to form the strongest coalition of school choice supporters heading into next year.”

Kirtley doesn’t say in his press release which races he targeted or did he provide an entire list of candidates who belong to the “coalition.” Creating the illusion of wide-spread support is not new to the ed privatization movement of which Kirtley is a major player. Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst, tough awash with cash from hedge funders attempting to create an education market, has created a false rallying point for the like-minded that does not exist.

The two Republican senators he mentioned, Kelli Stargel and John Legg, were going to be elected  whether or not they mass mailings from Kirtley’s group. Citing Democrats winning open seats  hardly represents any sort of bellwether. Not indicating which Democrat races his efforts failed is a sign of weakness and intentionally evasive. The more guys like Kirtley spend their money and slap public high-fives, the more they reveal that their “coalitions” are in reality small groups of powerful people spending their money to make more money.






About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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