Two Republican politicians praised the Douglas County School District and board during the group’s Sept. 5 meeting. State Sen. Ted Harvey and state Rep. Chris Holbert, both Douglas County residents, said they came to express their gratitude.
“I’m here to remind you and thank you for allowing politics to be part of what you do in this district,” Holbert said, calling the 2009 election of several Republican-endorsed board candidates “a mandate” for change. “The taxpaying voters of this county spoke loudly and clearly that they support you, that they want choice.
“I applaud you for standing up for neighborhood schools, for charters, for home schools and, of course, your voucher program.”
Harvey, whose children attend Douglas County schools and whose wife is a Sky View Academy staff member, said he’s grateful to the board for opening more charter schools.
“You opened up the first charter high school ever,” he said, referring to the STEM School, and applauding the recently approved expansion of Sky View Academy to include high school. “One of the reasons I got involved in your elections years ago is because a school board member told me to stop asking about a charter high school in Douglas County (because) you will never have one. Now we have two. You are changing the way education is done in the entire country.”
When Harvey noted that charter school teachers provide high-quality education without union membership, some people among the audience booed. School board president John Carson reminded them to refrain from doing so.
“This is public comment, it’s not a political rally,” he said, prompting laughter from several in the audience. “I’m recognizing our state legislators to speak, thank you very much.”
District spokeswoman Cinamon Watson said she did not know if the two men were invited to the meeting.