Desoto County Schools Superintendent Milton Kuykendall has apparently decided to change jobs; he’s gone from educator to lobbyist, or at least that’s how it appears in an email YallPolitics received on Friday, February 16.

Kuykendall forwarded an email to his Desoto County Schools employees (using his government email) and staff from the education lobbyist Nancy Loome of The Parents Campaign, adding his own commentary as well.

Here’s the emails:

Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2012 08:34:00 -0600
From: [email protected]
Reply-To: [email protected]

Subject: Fwd: Need calls on charter school bill

Make sure you tell your staff and PTA people that I have talked to Senator Chris Massey who is on the education committee. Senator Massey is 100% on board to support the amendment that charter schools can only be placed in unsuccessful school districts. The Senate bill allows charter schools in successful school districts.

Spend your time calling the people listed that is not on our side about this issue.

Thanks,

MK

—– Forwarded message from [email protected] —–
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2012 17:53:48 -0600
From: Nancy Loome
Reply-To: Nancy Loome
Subject: Need calls on charter school bill
To: [email protected]

Dear Milton,

The Senate Education Committee will vote on the charter school bill on Tuesday morning.

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO GET THE BILL AMENDED to achieve our goal of improving student achievement and providing good options for kids who are trapped in chronically underperforming schools.

PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATOR AND LT. GOVERNOR TATE REEVES BEFORE TUESDAY AND ASK THEM TO SUPPORT AMENDMENTS THAT:

* RESTRICT CHARTERS TO CHRONICALLY UNDERPERFORMING SCHOOL ZONES – We cannot afford to create /more/ schools – more administrators, more buildings, more overhead – in places where we already have excellent public schools.
* PROHIBIT VIRTUAL CHARTER SCHOOLS – It is astounding that anyone would want to allow virtual charters into Mississippi. In other states, virtual charter schools have moved student achievement backward while their executives have pocketed a fortune – /in state tax dollars/! Read about it here[3].
* REQUIRE A PROVEN TRACK RECORD OF SUCCESS FROM CHARTER SCHOOL MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS – We can’t afford to waste scarce taxpayer dollars on inexperienced “mom and pop” charter organizers who don’t know what they are doing.
* ENSURE THAT FOR-PROFIT COMPANIES CANNOT RUN CHARTER SCHOOLS – For-profits cut corners on education to rake in greater profits. The bill has a loophole that will allow this.

PLEASE CALL BEFORE TUESDAY – AND ASK YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO CALL, TOO.

LT. GOVERNOR TATE REEVES 601.359.3200

YOUR SENATOR:

SEN. CHRIS MASSEY CAPITOL: 601.359.3252 PERSONAL:xxx.xxx.xxxx

CAPITOL SWITCHBOARD: 601.359.3770

If your senator is not listed above it is because we do not have your street address and zip code in our database. Click here to find your legislator. Click here to send us your street address and zip code.

Your legislators really need to hear from you on this issue. Most of them don’t know a lot about charter schools, and they need to know where their constituents stand. This is a very important vote for public education.

You can get more information about The Parents’ Campaign’s position on charter schools here – HOW CHARTER SCHOOLS COULD HELP THE CHILDREN OF MISSISSIPPI WHOSE NEED IS GREATEST and HOW CHARTER SCHOOLS COULD TAKE US BACKWARD IF NOT GOVERNED UNDER VERY STRONG CHARTER SCHOOL LEGISLATION. Please make those calls. Our kids are counting on us!

Gratefully,

Nancy

————————-
Nancy Loome, Executive Director
The Parents’ Campaign

It should be noted that Kuykendall played a role in the victory of now state Senator Chris Massey. The education lobby was the primary driving force behind Massey’s defeat of then state Senator Doug Davis, who also just happened to be Appropriations Chairman. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone for Massey to appear to be in lockstep with Kuykendall and Loome; that’s where his bread’s buttered.

The obvious flaw in The Parents Campaign’s position on charter schools is that they only want children in underperforming schools to be given the option to seek greater success in their education. They want to restrict those that are already high achievers from further educational excellence. This is self-preservation of the Kuykendalls of the state; it is not in the best interest of students or parents.

Between The Parents Campaign and publicly paid educator/lobbyists like Milton Kuykendall, it’s no wonder Mississippi’s education system continues to be suspect. Whether you support Kuykendall’s position or not, you’re still paying for him to promote it. The right answer is giving every student an option to excel while allowing parents to choose what’s best for their child.

Since Kuykendall likes to send politically charged emails on the taxpayer dime, perhaps he would like to receive a few telling him why his lobbying isn’t proper and in order.