Rhodes' Opponent's CMS Remarks Haunt His Candidacy: 1st in a Series on the CMS debacle
North Mecklenburg, NC. - Today, on the one year annivesary of the historic town meeting series regarding CMS deconsolidation Representative John Rhodes released the following statement:
"If parents and students remember it was one year ago today, working with many colleagues in the House and families in our area, that I spoke at a Town Hall meeting at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church in Mint Hill, to discuss and explain the CMS deconsolidation legislation H.B. 1017 The Mecklenburg Education Freedom Act that I and Rep. Jim Gulley from Matthews, NC sponsored and had sent to the House Education Committee.
"Mayors of several towns attended to lend their support as well. The important legislation would provide for a referendum vote for citizens of Mecklenburg County in November to dissolve the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System and create multiple school disctricts in Mecklenburg County.
"According to reports publised in the Charlotte Observer then, (Feb. 7, 2005, Page 18A) my opponent called the entire proposal of "deconsolidation 'silly' and 'takes the eye off the ball of the things that can be done to address school system problems. The two elected officials - CMS board member Larry Gauvreau and Mecklenburg County commissioner Jim Puckett - pushing this absurd idea are doing a disservice to the people they represent.'
"Once again, the chronology of events have proven my opponent, Mr. 'beads and trinkets', to be on the wrong side of the issue. The obstructionist Jim Black did indeed act to kill any debate on the issue including the bill itself by giving 15 minutes notice for a vote. The outrage was so great that parents and officials, through the media, forced him to rescind that corrupt action and allow their voices to be heard. Yet even then, your duly elected School Board member Larry Gavreau was publicly excoriated when he tried to speak on your behalf. The Nazi tactics used by Black transparently demonstrated how much we need to reform the House and why that is one of my three central campaign issues.
"Those actions by Black bolster my argument about the impediment of corrupt leadership. I am not running against Mr. Black. I am running against allowing corruption to continue. I've made great strides towards removing it from the House.
"My opponent has yet to admit corruption is even an issue. He is sorely uneducated regarding what goes on in Raleigh. Perhaps this is because he never had time in his busy schedule to attend a House session. Someone seeking public office should at least find out what the job entails.
"The reason my landmark legislation was blocked was not because I was an author, but because it endangers the power and control the large CMS bureaucracy has over our families. CMS worked together with the corrupt leaders to keep parents from making any real decisions about education.
"To demonstrate how completely reactionary and childish my opponent's remarks are, I ask constituents to seek out the studies completed nationwide regarding the increased effectiveness of smaller school districts. My opponent writes now, 'decentralization is a great way to get at what most people really wanted'. He speaks as if he has knows this without conducting any research at all. That's a foolish way to address an issue, deciding on the solution before an investigation of the facts.
"Decentralization will not break up the monopoly the downtown School Board has over parental input. It merely masks the problem. It is a band-aid cure to a billion-dollar-a-year boondoggle. That is not a solution Mr. 'beads and trinkets'. Parents are fed up. And they are not stupid.
"It is a year later, the school bonds were soundly defeated, and the School Board Chairman, the incidious Joe White still won't let Larry Gavreau even introduce the proposal to build the schools we need in my district. Not a single new school will be built because certain CMS officials have a personal vendetta against the man. They are either ignorant or quite possibly mentally ill if they fail to recognize the need for those schools.
"I did not introduce legislation that created an outcry from parents. I formed H.B. 1017 based on the overwhelming support of parents crying for some relief. 'Beads and trinkets' states as the third set of sentences in his tersely worded brochure 'he wants to improve education' and he 'has a plan'.
"So where is his comprehensive plan for education? Are we just supposed to imagine he is going to wave a magic wand over this issue as well?
"The parents of this district deserve an answer in writing and we've shown, they aren't just going to go away."
Republican primary voters may vote on May 2nd, 2006 at their local precinct for Representative John W. Rhodes.
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