Coalition Kick-Off Meeting Minutes

Minutes for 12/19/2016 Meeting of SOS KY Coalition

Organizations/Individuals in Attendance (what group have offered to contribute in parenthesis):

  1. SOSKY – Heather Harrell (Louisville Chapter), Trish Smith (Lexington Chapter) – (Lead agency, website, screenings, speakers, educational materials, social media)
  2. Dear JCPS – Gay Adelmann (Email, social media, volunteers)
  3. Jack Be Nimble – Judith Bradley (student voice)
  4. JCTA & KY Jobs with Justice – Tammy Berlin, Brent McKim ($, action network, FB, website, Kentuckians for Public Ed, call NEA to help)
  5. Greater Louisville Central Labor Council – Tim Morris
  6. Chris Kolb (Incoming School Board Member)
  7. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Kentucky Secular Society, FFRF Ky — Ed Hensley (websites and google groups) – cannot bind latter because would need national permission
  8. United Opt Out – Tiffany Dunn (social media, Diane Ravitch)
  9. SEIU– Richard Becker
  10. Forward Kentucky — Bruce Maples (publishing channels, e-mail list, write stories, interviews, podcasts, monetary donations from individuals?, content)
  11. KA Owens – (notes to other organizations)
  12. NASEI — Will Vander Meer
  13. League of Women Voters – Pat Murrell, Ivonne Rovira (on website and to members, research, call hotline)
  14. 15th District PTA – Autumn Neagle
  15. Maria Sorolis
  16. FOR, Stand Up Sunday – Chris Harmer

Other Organizations to Invite (individual to contact organization in parenthesis)

  1. Legal Aid Society (MS)
  2. Fairness Campaign (MS)
  3. BLM (TB)
  4. NAACP (CH)
  5. Compassionate Louisville (MS)
  6. KASA (MS)
  7. ACLE (HH)
  8. Pastors for Children (TD)
  9. Ky Council of Churches (CH)
  10. Disciples
  11. JCC (Ivonne)
  12. Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (EH, CH)
  13. Shawnee Alumni Ass’n (GA)
  14. KEAT (GA)
  15. Kentucky Youth Advocates (AN)
  16. Sheila Schuster (CH)
  17. National Council of Jewish Women (Ivonne)
  18. Urban League (BM)
  19. Kentucky Center for EP (BM)
  20. Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (TB)
  21. Bellarmine/PSI (TB)
  22. Student Voices (TB)
  23. GLABSE (TB)
  24. CASA ?
  25. Teamsters (TM)
  26. AFSCME (TM)
  27. KEA (BM)
  28. ACLU
  29. CPS Teacher Assoc (TB)
  30. KCEP (BM?)
  31. NAMI (CH)
  32. Malik’s group (name?) (EH)
  33. LSURJ (GA)
  34. West Louisville Community Council (GA)

Main concerns of each organization in attendance:

  1. JCTA – employees not have the right to organize and be represented by labor rep
  2. Forward Kentucky – what is purpose behind the charter school movement
  3. Services Employee Int. Union – more difficult/impossible for labor rep
  4. League of Women Voters – public schools are the foundation of democracy, profit from tax dollars, no commitment to the community, lack of control/oversight
  5. JCTA – narrow curriculum
  6. Greater Louisville Central Labor Council – similar concerns about representation
  7. Americans United for Sep. of Church and States (and others listed above) – no public funds to religious schools
  8. United Opt Out – opposed to charters pushing for uncertified teachers
  9. Fellowship Of Reconciliation – profit motive and achievement gaps
  10. Jack Be Nimble – special and gap populations (already have charters in KY – 4 of them), SBDM/community involvement
  11. Air and Space Academy – uncertain at this point. Just learning.
  12. KA Owens – charters are at best a lateral move if not a move backwards
  13. Dear JCPS – Why should charter schools be allowed to operate without the same constraints as public schools? Of course they’re going to be able to boast better performance when playing field is not level.
  14. 15th District PTA – Charters should be under direction of local school board and follow same rules as public schools

Current Levels of Commitment:

  1. On board – Dear JCPS, JCTA, FOR, AU, Forward KY,
  2. Need to take it back to board – 15th District PTA (3rd week), NASEI, Chris (2nd Thursday), LWV (1st Monday), Ky Secular Soc (Jan 19th), GLCLC (Jan 3)
  3. Here to listen / Other – Jack Be Nimble

Other Discussion

  1. Gay — Asked everyone to turn in their index cards. Platform committee will work to include concerns reflective of every coalition member. Marketing committee will work on messaging, strategy, etc. Follow up meetings scheduled.
  2. Brent – Unions are not the problem. Willing to negotiate longer hours if that is what is wanted. HH – is there evidence for longer hours benefitting students?
  3. SOS KY – will take the lead and be 100% focused on quality charter school legislation, change name to SOS Ky Coalition . . .
  4. Pat – use language like “while we do not think charters are the solution to our problems , if the legislature moves forward, legislation must include . . .”; Gay – in order to get pro charter groups like PTA on board, we have to stay away from that language
  5. Brent – worked with Sen Neal on proposed bill
  6. Judith – bill missing language to be more inclusive of all student populations, existing district’s LEA, 13.3% of population to use as leverage, 504 plans
  7. Bruce – pro-charter groups have spent lots of money so lots of “best practices”
  8. Chris – statewide or pilots? Probably statewide . . .
  9. Judith – Student Voice group – what choice am I really going to have?
  10. Brent – good message = “privatize public schools”, rural communities have a history of difficulty consolidating counties = good narrative (also, who gets to give out jobs)
  11. 15th District – best message = student writes a letter, get Kentucky Youth Advocates and KEAT
  12. Chris – need more diverse members in this coalition, name ‘em and claim ‘em, invite other groups to join
  13. Brent – important to look at the impact on existing schools and transparency
  14. School Choice Rally on Jan 27th, we should attend
  15. Screening on Jan 5 – need to schedule more, statewide, provide speakers


  1. Position statement – Chris, Heather, Tammy (chair), Gay
  2. Marketing (parent choice vs parent voice) – Gay, Trish (chair), Tammy, Tim, Ivonne