Education

School choice backer, BLM critic wins Essex school board seat

By Guy Page

Last summer, young mom and part-time assistant teacher Liz Cady of Essex Town told the local school board her concerns about school spending, remote learning and Black Lives Matters.

The response was not encouraging. 

“I was told by a current board member this past summer, board members have no obligation to ask the community for input; if the community doesn’t like their decisions, the community can vote them out at election time,” Cady said on her school board campaign website. “It is time to do just that.”

And run, she did. Tuesday, April 13, Liz Cady won a three-year seat, beating the six-year incumbent, a self-described racial and climate justice activist named Liz Subin.  

Dissatisfied with the ‘hybrid learning’ response to the pandemic, part-time teacher Cady and her active-duty military husband withdrew their children from public schools last summer. 

As she explains on her campaign website, “I have witnessed firsthand that our current board’s priorities are not what I hope for my children, or any children, to receive out of public education.  We made the decision for our children to leave the Essex Westford School District in the summer of 2020 when it became clear the board’s focus was not upon returning our children to the classroom, nor were they willing to listen and respond to community input.”

“As a taxpayer, I have been underwhelmed with the Board’s fiscal decisions, especially as they offer little transparency or desire to consult the community before making these decisions,” she added. 

Cady also cited budgetary concerns with the board as a reason she pursued election. A surplus of $4.5 million is part of the $80 million 2022 fiscal year budget the board has put forth. She sees this surplus as worthy of further discussion, as she notes the number of students in the EWSD is decreasing.

Voters were given a clear choice between fiscal/decision-making reformer Cady and the incumbent Subin, who played an integral role as clerk of the Executive Board, saying during the election “I have very much enjoyed being part of those executive meetings and the agenda planning that comes with it.”

The suburban Chittenden County voters of Essex picked Cady over Subin after a campaign in which Cady was crystal clear on two controversial topics.

Cady supports school choice

“Tuition vouchers and school choice make private schools affordable for all income levels,” she says on her campaign website. “A student in one of my son’s classes at EWSD needed a different learning environment.  It was not due to a lack of trying on the teacher’s part; it simply came down to that student needed a different avenue than traditional school.  That student’s parents took on additional jobs in order to have enough money to send their child to a private school.  Parents know best what helps their child learn.  Within a month of changing, the parent reported to me that their child was doing so much better, and it was worth having to work extra jobs.  With tuition vouchers/school choice, those parents would not have had to take on extra jobs in order to provide the education best suited for their child.”

She encourages Vermonters to sign a school choice petition begun in Essex.

Cady supports equality and opposes the Black Lives Matter organization:

“The founders are self-proclaimed Marxists with a stated goal ‘to disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.’ What is a nuclear family? That’s a family unit of two parents and their children living together, regardless of race, religion, creed, or any other defining characteristics. I cannot support an organization that seeks to dismantle the concept of two parents living a life with their children.

“The organization pushes and praises violence and destruction. I do not condone violence and destructive behavior, but I certainly do support peaceful discussion and demonstration. I believe many people fall into the latter category, but the organization BLM has chosen to push the first category many times over. I cannot support that choice.

“In the summer of 2020, I was very vocal about encouraging our students to come up with their own flag to symbolize what equality and racial awareness means for Essex and Westford specifically. The BLM organization’s flag is a nationally recognized symbol that ultimately has the above two points directly tied to it. The organization’s flag is not unique to our community, and we cannot take their nationally recognized symbol and change it to mean something different.  I believe our students and our community have the capability and creativity to develop our own flag or other symbolic gesture, to unite people in a positive manner.”

Categories: Education

23 replies »

  1. It is very satisfying to see someone in Vermont speak up for what they believe in, even though the person’s views may not align with how many others in the State of Vermont view important social issues of our time. Even more satisfying is the fact that she received the support of the voters in her community for speaking up in support of what she believes.

  2. Sounds good. Future State Rep let’s hope. Don’t stop there. Former Governor Madeline Kuhn ran for I believe it was select board office because she wanted to sign at a railroad crossing and of course she wound up as Vermont’s only woman Governor. I love her section talking about developing with the school kids on a flag to represent what they thought of equality, that’s leadership!!! It’s developing our future to think for themselves instead of grasping to something that’s already been defined. Thank you

  3. EXCELLENT Job. So glad to see other parents done with the bs taking their kids out. Trinity Baptist School (Williston) open house tomorrow 4/16 830-1130. Solid academics, high standards, excellent teachers. Traditional curriculum!!

    • Good post!!! There are several Catholic schools in this area as well. WAKE UP Vermont, before we all find ourselves living in a little Manhattan or Hartford or Baltimore, etc. etc.

      Just say NO!

  4. This is great – I cannot even vaguely understand why neighboring Colchester has BLM flags flying on public school properties & so many private homes displaying them. Proclaiming that black lives matter should be a given but supporting a Marxist organization that promotes violence & the obliteration of family is illogical, bizarre, and NOT in keeping with traditional VT values.

    Needless to state, all it would take is a lawsuit & those flags would likely have to be removed from publicly-funded properties, (not to mention roadways) but I surmise most people have more critical situations to focus on; nonetheless the flying of that flag is detestable based upon the group’s ideologies and mission.

    People HAVE to begin to speak up with regards to the insidious & dangerous pursuits BLM represents —- as obviously CNN & MSNBC et al are NOT conveying this or much else involving the radical left & those are the outlets most Vermonters seem to believe are mainstream news sources.

  5. Great article Guy – now to find more like Cady! She obviously has not bought what too many can’t seem to comprehend is happening to our children. Background research on some of these CRT and BLM pushers is revealing some very interesting concerns – parents / grandparents / guardians need to start looking into these players. Where they came from – who they were associated with, why some of them had short term employment where they previously worked and so on. It’s an eye opener what does not match or exist according to their intro claims. Education claims as well!

  6. Could this be the first flicker of crushing anti society organizations like blm…………..

  7. I signed the Essex School Choice petition and hope everyone who reads this article does too. Pass it on.

    I also hope Liz Cady considers the power she now has if she can persuade her school board colleagues to enable school choice tuition vouchers for grades 7 through 12 too. The statutory power is as follows.

    16 V.S.A. § 822. School district to maintain public high schools or pay tuition
    (c)(1) A school district may both maintain a high school and furnish high school education by paying tuition:
    (B) to an approved independent school or an independent school meeting education quality standards if the school board judges that a student has unique educational needs that cannot be served within the district or at a nearby public school.
    (2) The judgment of the board shall be final in regard to the institution the students may attend at public cost.

    https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/16/021/00822

    After all, every student has ‘unique educational needs’. But I want to repeat this part of the statute again.

    THE JUDGMENT OF THE BOARD SHALL BE FINAL IN REGARD TO THE INSTITUTION THE STUDENTS MAY ATTEND AT PUBLIC COST!!!

    • Ms. Cady will need support. The hit pieces by progressive blogs like John Walters’ Vermont Political Observer have already begun.

      • And not a word of Cady’s win on VT Digger or Seven Days. Who could have guessed that.

  8. This is an outstanding development, especially since Essex/Essex Jct seem to have been trending left recently. Perhaps positive change is in the wind.

  9. This is by far the best educational new I have seen in a very long period. Let us hope this is just the beginning of a return to learning basics and about why Vermont and the United States, while not perfect, stand as a goal for the rest of the world.

  10. I’m with Liz! Great job standing up for putting the kids first. There are so many people in Government that have forgotten that the citizens are the one who have the power. It takes people like Liz to have the courage and the want to effect change and to bring her message to the people who thirst for leadership and a voice. And for it to happen in this area of the State, where harmful social policies have spawned unabated, shows that there is still great hope of keeping Vermont what it’s always been, a great place to prosper, raise your family, and love your neighbor instead of marginalizing and dividing the ones you disagree with.

    Sen Russ Ingalls

  11. In another news regarding Essex why I’m so psyched that this individual is showing the way. Rep Black last night decided to vote yes to increasing or creating a new cloud tax on businesses. Especially after the last year they had. We’re giving businesses covid relief money and now we’re deciding to give them a cloud tax on top of it? What’s up Vermont? And then Representative Black decided to vote against individuals in the military not being taxed on the first $30,000 of their salary. I guess she was right she was more than than just about gun control. Make sure the tax those who have served our country well and make sure to tax the individuals and companies who are struggling to make ends meet and accepting covid relief money

  12. It’s is way past time for school choice. The public schools have so brain washed their students all one has to say is Bad Republican or good Democrat and they agree. Two examples ONE we do not need a bad Republican like Kennedy who got us into the Vietnam war TWO what we need is a good Democrat like Truman who will us WMD’s. Both cases they said I was right

  13. Cancel the 1619 culture of lies.
    Teach the greatness of the world’s greatest experiment, the U.S. of America.
    “We the People” have just begun.
    Require Vermont schools to include “The Heritage Foundation” in their curriculum, not a BLM fascist flag.

  14. The “Good Vermonter” vs “The Good German”?
    Dennis Prager so aptly describes the dangers of being silent , of allowing the intimidation to continue, and the lies to persist.
    ” I now understand that mass brainwashing can take place in a nominally free society. The incessant left-wing drumbeat of The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and almost every other major newspaper, plus The Atlantic, The New Yorker, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR, all of Hollywood and almost every school from kindergarten through graduate school, has brainwashed at least half of America every bit as effectively as the German, Soviet and Chinese communist press did (and in the latter case, still does). That thousands of schools will teach the lie that is the New York Times’ “1619 Project” is one of countless examples.”

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