National PAC takes aim at two metro Atlanta school board races – The Atlanta Journal Constitution

“Why is there so much outside money for a Coweta County school board election?” he wondered.

Parent outrage over CRT proved a potent political force in Virginia, where Gov. Glenn Youngkin harnessed it to topple his Democratic opponent last year. Georgia GOP lawmakers went on to pass a slew of bills this year that mined that and other cultural concerns. Despite hours of hearings, there was no clear evidence presented that the theory was being taught in the state’s K-12 classrooms.

ExploreGeorgia lawmakers approve divisive concepts, transgender sports bill

Ray Lynch, part of the four-candidate Republican bloc intending to take over the already GOP-dominated seven-member Cherokee board, said he decided to run because he felt some area schools were underperforming academically. He blamed it in part on CRT and diversity training, which he sees as a divisive distraction from core academics.

The emergency medical doctor said he sent his own children, now grown, to private schools when they lived in other states where the local schools seemed inadequate. He said he supports vouchers but only as an alternative to failing schools.

“My emphasis is do a better job,” Lynch said. “Why would I sit on a board of a system I’m trying to destroy? That would be a waste of time.”

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Audience members at a Cherokee County school board meeting cheer for a speaker who advocates for removing books some deem objectionable. Members of the public voiced their opinions at the school board meeting in Canton on Thursday, April 21, 2022. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Audience members at a Cherokee County school board meeting cheer for a speaker who advocates for removing books some deem objectionable. Members of the public voiced their opinions at the school board meeting in Canton on Thursday, April 21, 2022. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

caption arrowCaption

Audience members at a Cherokee County school board meeting cheer for a speaker who advocates for removing books some deem objectionable. Members of the public voiced their opinions at the school board meeting in Canton on Thursday, April 21, 2022. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

The CRT issue exploded in Georgia a year ago, when an overflow crowd packed a Cherokee school board meeting. Residents complained about the hiring of an administrator to oversee diversity and social-emotional learning initiatives. She rejected the job and speakers there have since turned their attention to obscenity, calling for book bans.

Ryan Girdusky, founder of the 1776 Project PAC, said he doesn’t support vouchers. He said he entered the fray in Cherokee and Coweta because they endorse social-emotional learning, which he calls a “back door” for CRT. He addressed the lack of evidence about CRT in schools, saying he “never really claimed that it’s taught in schools. What I always say is CRT is practiced in schools.”

One example: a book he said his godson had to read — “Race Cars: A Children’s Book About White Privilege.”

“I think a lot of what the progressive movement on the left in education has done has been very, very harmful,” he said. “It’s meant to divide a lot of people.”

But Katie Paris, Ohio-based founder of Red Wine and Blue, a women’s political organization, said she doesn’t understand why anyone would attack social-emotional learning. She sees it as a benign effort to teach kids how to get along with different people.

“My jaw drops that anyone would ever want to argue with my kids learning to be kind,” she said, “because that is what they’re learning.”

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