SEIU, MNEA release Metro school board endorsements

Monday, June 18, 2012 at 3:33pm


Unions representing teachers and support staff workers in separate announcements last week unveiled endorsements for Metro’s school board races in advance of the Aug. 2 election.

The Service Employees International Union Local 205, which represents the school district’s support staff workers, opted not to endorse in the District 5 race in which board chair Gracie Porter is looking to fend off three challengers.

Mark Naccarato told The City Paper none of the District 5 candidates returned the SEIU’s questionnaire, so none received the union’s endorsement.

Porter, who enjoyed SEIU’s support during her first school board run, voted to outsource school custodians two years ago and has supported Director of Schools Jesse Register’s decision to undo the district’s “memorandum of understanding” policy with support staff employees. SEIU vehemently opposed both moves.

In the District 1 race between two sitting board members — Sharon Gentry and Ed Kindall — the SEIU endorsed Kindall.

“He’s often the only one in the school board meetings who asks the tough questions and tries to hold Dr. Register accountable,” said Cordelia Howard, a school secretary, in the SEIU’s announcement.

In the District 3 school board race to fill departing board member Mark North’s seat, SEIU endorsed Free Lee, a licensed teacher and attorney.

SEIU endorsed Al Wilkins in the board’s District 7 race and Amy Frogge for District 9, the seat currently held by Kay Simmons, who has opted to not seek re-election.

The Metro Nashville Education Association’s Political Action Committee for Education endorsed both Gentry and Kindall. The two sitting board members were drawn into the same political boundaries during redistricting last year.

“The decision to choose between two dedicated, experienced people was impossible,” MNEA president Stephen Henry said.

“It’s a shame two dedicated current school board members have been forced into a race against each other,” he added.

The teachers’ union endorsed Jill Speering in the District 3 race. Other District 3 candidates are Lee and Jarod DeLozier.

MNEA, in the District 5 election, endorsed Porter over her three opponents: Elissa Kim, Erica Lanier and John Haubenreich.

In the District 7 contest, MNEA endorsed Will Pinkston, a former aide under Gov. Phil Bredesen. Other District 7 candidates are Wilkins and Alan Sharp.

In District 9, MNEA endorsed businesswoman Margaret Dolan. Other candidates are Frogge, former Councilman Eric Crafton, Bob Bogen and Ronnie Osborne.


10 Comments on this post:

By: JeffF on 6/18/12 at 1:56

Just remember when you vote that these unions' existence parallel the the decline of Metro schools. Also remember that they people they endorsed in prior elections were the ones surprised by the state's implementation of charter schools just for the silly little reason that the schools they replace happen to suck enough to be in Memphis.

By: pswindle on 6/18/12 at 4:07

If it were not for unions, There would be 40 plus children in a classroon, no Phy. Ed and all the good things to protect children would not be there. If you think that the teachers were the ones to gain from unions,. you have no idea what you are talking about. Just watch the class size this fall. This is just the beginning. Without unions, we would not have 40 hours work week, two weeks vacation. This is just to name a few things that we enjoy. But, the most important thing is that children are protected from working like an adult. Go back and read about the working people and thier rights before unions.

By: hattrick3 on 6/18/12 at 4:23

pswindle - Thank you for those accomplishments from 70+ years ago. Now unions are nothing but a corrupt group of people stealing from their membership to prop up the ones in charge. Union leaders make $100,000+ a year while thier "brothers and sisters" worry about if they'll have a job. If you are so worried about the children, then let Jesse Register do his job and fire all the teachers who under perform. You are more worried about the size of the class instead of the quality of the teacher.

By: playthegame on 6/18/12 at 5:30

Register has been moving teachers out for the past three years. Have the test scores increased? You've got to do more than bring in outside "consultants" to change a school district especially when those consultants are his friends from Chattanooga who didn't do anything great in Chattanooga.

By: govskeptic on 6/19/12 at 5:53

Just like MNEA to endorse both candidates in one race to make sure they
had the winner. Board members that support mediocre Leaders like we've
had for so many years, like Retired Mr. Kindell, is a big part of the problem!
It's good that MNEA and Service Employees International Union, one of the
Nation's largest, have given us their endorsement. Vote the opposite for
a better system!

By: Skullkrusher on 6/19/12 at 11:30

Thanks for the info...anyone who is endorsed by SEIU will never get a vote from me.

By: Specter47 on 6/19/12 at 11:57

SEIU, better known as the active arm of the Communist Party, shouldn't have any business in MNPS business. MNEA supports all the "old school" types, like dinosaur Ed Kindall. So, that being said, if you use these organization's endorsements as to who NOT to vote for, then you will serve Metro Schools well. Make sure if you're in District 9 that you vote for Eric Crafton. He will hold Register and Company accountable and will accept no excuses. And he has no respect for unions of any type.

By: WayneR on 6/19/12 at 12:12


> In District 9, MNEA endorsed businesswoman Margaret Dolan. Other candidates are Frogge, former Councilman Eric Crafton, Bob Bogen and Ronnie Osborne.

Eric Crafton? My god, does he never stop? Forgive my rhetoric, but knowing this guy is on the ballot gives me a reason to go on living.


Phiber O.

By: Radix on 6/20/12 at 9:35

Unions still serve one good purpose; telling us who NOT to vote for.

So glad these money grabbing power hungry albatrosses are on the decline.

By: GUARDIAN on 6/20/12 at 10:50

Anyone who is involved with SEIU would be as evil as they are... never vote with them. GUARDIAN-GOD, COUNTRY, FAMILY and FRIENDS. The American Way.