Live from Virginia Tuesday morning on The John Fredericks Show – weekdays on WNTW AM 820/ FM 92.7 – Richmond, WJFN FM 100.5 – Central Virginia; WMPH AM 1010 / FM 100.1 / FM 96.9 (7-9 p.m.) Hampton Roads; WBRG AM 1050 / FM 105.1 – Lynchburg/Roanoke and weekdays 6-10 a.m. and 24/7 stream – host Fredericks welcomed Forsyth County, Georgia school board candidate Mike Valdes to talk about how he will make sure teachers are upholding the state law in the classroom.
Fredericks: Mike Valdes is with us with an update on the Georgia parent-school bills. Mike Valdes is also a candidate for Forsyth County School Board in Georgia. Mike, thanks for being with us. Legislative session over. How did you guys do on parent and school bills 2022 Georgia?
Valdes: Hey, John. Good morning. So I’ll tell you, it was a great year for parents and for kids in Georgia this year, the legislative session.
We had two landmark bills, among others, go through HB 1084 and 1178, which really solidify parental rights and the rights that parents inherently have over how their kids are educated, and the moral systems and the value systems that their kids are being imposed on them. So I think it was a great year for parents and an even better year for kids.
Fredericks: So give me some of the specifics.
Valdes: The first kind of landmark bill, HB 1084, which what it does is it prohibits the teaching of what it labels as divisive concepts. It’s not specifically focused on Critical Race Theory.
It really shouldn’t even be necessary, nor should it be something that people are upset about. It kind of just codifies into all things that are already illegal. Like, for example, you shouldn’t be racist against people because of their skin color.
I thought we had moved past that already. But apparently, over the last few years, this had come back into style. So it just puts into law very basic principles.
You shouldn’t say that another person is fundamentally racist because of their skin color. You shouldn’t say America is fundamentally racist.
You shouldn’t tell kids that they have to feel shame or guilt or anxiety because of things done by people of their skin color 100 years ago. It prohibits racial scapegoating. I mean, it’s just basic stuff. It shouldn’t really be controversial.
But apparently for the Left, it is. And the other big bill that went through is HB 1178. And it’s again, sad that we’re at this point where we have to codify this into law.
But it establishes that parents have the right of governance over their children. The children belong to the parents, and that doesn’t end when we drop them off at school. And it codifies that into law.
Fredericks: Mike Valdes, you’re running for school boarding for Forsyth County, one of those people that we asked to stand up, get involved and get things done.
But we’re getting a lot of reports now that even when we’ve taken the majority of school boards around the country, that the administrators are basically giving you guys the New Jersey salute – that’s in regards to Jennifer that we just had on – and basically saying we don’t really care who’s in charge of the school board, teachers are going to teach what they want, and we’re going to continue to do what we think is right, which is teaching all this crap.
We’ve had a number of undercover people, we had the guy the other day who did an undercover someplace and basically, the supervisors were telling the school board to stick it. How are you going to change that?
Valdes: I think it’s important to separate what’s happening at a national level from what’s happening locally here in our county, in our county. It’s really the overwhelming majority, high-90 percent of teachers that are not doing these kinds of things, that are focused on academics and they want to teach their kids and be passionate about what they do.
We have seen across the state and at the national level kind of some abuses going on and activism going on in the classroom. Again, I want to believe that this is a very small minority among teachers.
The big problem we face in Georgia is that school boards, constitutionally and by law, are actually pretty limited to what they can do.
The way that Georgia law is written, the superintendent of schools in each local administration has a very high threshold of authority and governance over that school system. This is the excuse I’ve heard from a lot of school boards.
Fredericks: But the school board hires the superintendent. They approve his contract. The superintendent serves at the pleasure of the school board, and the school board can buy their contract out at any time, pay him or her the severance and sever the relationship and hire someone new. So to say, well, it’s up to the superintendent, where the school boards are the ones that are hiring the guy or gal.
Valdes: Yes, that’s absolutely true. And that kind of ends up being the nuclear option. Yes. The boards of education and local boards of education have the power of the purse and they have the power of the superintendent’s contract.
The issue with saying, okay, our superintendent, we’re not happy with what he’s doing: fired. The problem with that is that now that brings in accrediting bodies, that brings in the State Board of Education, that brings in any number of other third parties that have, again, in many cases, more authority than the local board of education.
So really, we need the General Assembly to help us out at the local level and restore local government over boards of education …
Fredericks: You basically have the deep state in education now. So a school board hires a superintendent, and basically, they’re there for life.
You can’t fire them because then you get all kinds of lawsuits. But then the thing would be to manipulate the contract before you hire somebody that it’s got a severance-out clause if they don’t do the job you want.
Mike, everybody’s throwing their hands up and saying, telling me what they can’t do. I want to know what you guys can do? You’re running for the school board. Why? What can you do?
Valdes: Absolutely. That’s a totally fair question. Let me tell you what we can do. So as boards of education, one of our primary roles is an oversight. So we can provide oversight of what the superintendent and staff are doing.
There are some rules that we have to work through. But listen, it’s a matter of asking the right questions. It’s a matter of asking for the right information. Getting involved, doing the work.
Local boards make almost no money, so they’re expected to work very part-time. Hey, think of it as volunteer, put in the hours, check what’s going on, get involved, ask the questions, go to the meetings.
And I think the biggest thing local boards of education can do is speak up in public. Speak up at board meetings. Let the public know what’s going on behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ so that the public can put pressure on these systems.
What we have found is that the only time they move is when there’s public outcry. When you try to work in a civilized manner, they just tell you to go pound sand and that’s a problem and we need to fix that.
Fredericks: What’s your website for your campaign for the school board?
Valdes: Yes, check us out, vootemikevaldes.com.
Fredericks: Thanks, Mike. Thanks for being with us.
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