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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Upcoming ...


Tonight is a Public Hearing on Road Conditions at 7pm at the Dacusville Community Center, 2671 Earls Bridge Rd, Dacusville SC Rep Davey Hiott will be in attendance as well as SC DOT Officials

Monday March 25 at 6pm is the School Board Meeting at the Curtis A Sidden Admin Building 1348 Griffin Mill Rd, Easley, SC

Tuesday March 26th is the Special Election do over for School Board Member for the new 7th School Board seat. Please make sure if you vote at Cedar Rock , crescent Hill, Crossroads, Dacusville, Glassy Mountain, Griffin, Nine Forks, Pumpkintown or Vinland precints that you GO VOTE. The candidates are Philip Healy and Alice Vander Linden. Healy won the vote originally but due to the Pickens Election Board messing up and not providing ballots properly there is a $10,000 election do over. 

THURSDAY MARCH 28th at 7pm located at United Wesleyan Church, 738 Rice Rd, Easley, SC is the Pickens County GOP re-organizational meeting which is VERY important for you to attend if you want to get rid of RINO's ( Republican's in Name Only) In order for you to vote on Resolutions and other important officers within the party who lead us in a Conservative DIRECTION you must attend this meeting. Bring your voter registration card with you so you will know which precinct to meet with and elect the President and officers for your precinct. 

Monday April Fool's Day... the County Council Meeting will take place at the Administrative Facility at 6:30...please attend if you can.

Thursday April 25th is the Pickens County GOP Convention at United Wesleyan Church 738 Rice Road, Easley

See you at the Azalea Festival on April 20th hopefully and again at our May meeting to be announced soon.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Your child’s mind & soul

It is time we all wake up and understand there is an all out war on for children's minds and souls.
Children are our most vulnerable, most innocent, most naive, most malleable, and most easily led astray...and they are the MOST important to our nation's future.

Where is the battleground mainly taking place? Sadly, our tax supported public school system has become the main battleground. They have children captivated for 5 days a week, for 9 months out of a year. 

Look daily at the headlines and you can see that the ideology being promoted in our public schools is Mother Earth should be worshiped, Socialism is good, Humanism is the preferred religion, owning guns to protect one's life and family is evil, the LGBTQ lifestyle has value and merit, questioning your biological gender has value, and that killing the unborn is acceptable.
Television, Hollywood movies, commercials, online web sites your child's teacher uses in the classroom, and the main stream media are all on board with this assault and war for children's minds and souls.

You can't go through one single day without reading where a parent has had to go to their local school board and complain, or file law suits over lesson plans being presented to their children. You can't go to the movies or watch anything on television that isn't promoting an ideology to your child that entices them to sin against God's Ten Commandments. In fact, the Ten Commandments are not allowed to be placed in the school's hallways or talked about in your child's classroom. But yet strangely, the 5 pillars of Islam are actually called “essential learning” in SC Social Studies Standards in 6th grade.

Most parents think they can undo this indoctrination taking place in our public schools 5 days a week for 9 months by talking to their child for an hour a day. What percentage of parents do you think can be successful in keeping their child from accepting these anti-Christian ideologies being promoted in our schools, media, television, commercials, and Hollywood movies?

Our school board policy makers, and especially our lawmakers need to propose legislation to forbid teachers from using the classroom for their own personal bully pulpit for indoctrinating students to accept liberal ideology on controversial topics such as gender identity , worshipping Mother Earth, guns, abortion, Socialism, Humanism and alternative sexual lifestyles.

written by Johnnelle Raines
                 Pickens SC

Thursday, March 14, 2019

If you think Pickens County kids are using Chromebooks for schoolwork ... think again.

From Slashdot:As more and more laptops find their way into middle and high schools, educators are using Google Docs to do collaborative exercises and help students follow along with the lesson plan. The students, however, are using it to organize running conversations behind teachers' backs. Teens told me they use Google Docs to chat just about any time they need to put their phone away but know their friends will be on computers. Sometimes they'll use the service's live chat function, which doesn't open by default, and which many teachers don't even know exists. Or, they'll take advantage of the fact that Google allows users to highlight certain phrases or words, then comment on them via a pop-up box on the right side: They'll clone a teacher's shared Google document, then chat in the comments, so it appears to the causal viewer that they're just making notes on the lesson plan. If a teacher approaches to take a closer look, they can click the "Resolve" button and the entire thread will disappear. If the project isn't a collaborative one, kids will just create a shared document where they'll chat line by line in what looks like a paragraph of text. "People will just make a new page and talk in different fonts so you know who is who," Skyler said. "I had one really good friend and we were in different homerooms. So, we'd email each other a doc and would just chat about whatever was going on." At the end of class, they just delete a doc or resolve all the comments. Rarely does anyone save them the way previous generations may have stored away paper notes from friends

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Will Public Education Improve After Legislation?

SC Legislators in the House have passed House Bill 3759 entitled “SC Career Opportunity and Access For All” with only 3 no votes. The companion bill in the Senate under the same name is S.419 and is undergoing intense scrutiny. The Senate education subcommittee will hold three more hearings in March around the state before the final bill is sent to the full Senate Education Committee and on to the floor for debate. It is imperative our SC Legislators get this right and not rush a decision that can affect children's lives and future for decades. 

A  recent survey on social media by this reporter revealed that 96% of those South Carolinians surveyed through several Facebook group pages had no confidence that the passed version of House Bill 3759 would actually improve education in SC. That is an overwhelming thumbs down in voter confidence of this legislation. Our legislators need to pay attention to their constituents!

This latest attempt by our legislators to control the direction of public education and push for more centralization of power in their 80+ page document had no original input from parents. SC House Legislators held one hearing open to public which was well attended by teachers and parents who gave them an earful of their objections to this ill formed legislation. The legislators debated for 6 hours before their final votes took place on March 7th with an overwhelming majority patting themselves on the back saying they were satisfied. 

This final bill passed in the House would raise teacher starting salaries to $35,000 as well as remove some unnecessary testing, and included an attempt to make improvements to Read to Succeed. The bill also had several amendments offered and the bill came away with the following additions, a Teachers’ Bill of Rights with a guaranteed 30 minute teacher break away from students daily, and an income tax break worth the value of the property taxes of the teachers who live and work in SC's poorest rural counties. Also included in those final amendments is a United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) proposal made by Rep. Josiah Magnuson for a cost analysis for the Federal Compliance mandates that are attached to Federal funds SC receives. USPIE endeavors to return local, parental and community control of education. This amendment included in the bill will set us SC on the path to hopefully eliminating all federal education mandates by showing we truly can refuse federal funding that comes with those costly mandates and become more independent in our education policies going forward. The latest national census report showed SC only receives 4.95% of its education budget from federal sources but yet federal government is overwhelmingly in control over what is being taught and how in our SC classrooms. USPIE has advocated for an end to any Federal overreach into what should be a states' right issue.

United States Parents Involved in Education(USPIE) has been very outspoken on their concerns with SC Legislators' attempt at education reform to improve public school education ratings from being at the bottom of the nation. USPIE is a nonprofit,nationwide coalition of state leaders focused on returning control of education to parents and local communities by eradicating federal intrusion. State parental leaders from around the country who are fed up with being ignored on education policy have joined forces to abolish the US Dept of Education and put an end to all federal education mandates. It is USPIE's belief that our stagnant test scores,declining academic achievement, and wasteful spending of tax dollars can be solved by restoring parental authority over their children's education and returning education decisions to parents and the local communities where it belongs.
Other than the cost analysis of the Federal Compliance mandates, USPIE is pushing for the following changes in this present legislation.
  1. Strike the entire Zero to Twenty Committee section of the bill as this Committee doubles down on the workforce development model being driven by the federal government. This failed education model is predicated upon massive data collection of children from before birth into adulthood. This Zero to Twenty Committee is designed to breakdown and share data silos in order to track children out of the womb through age 20. Creating another politically appointed committee that is charged with data collection is a government invasion of children's privacy and should be stricken from the bill immediately.

  2. Strike the Competency-based Educationsection of the bill. Common Core was only the forerunner to Competency-based Education (CBE). CBE is the latest national/global education band-wagon which is nothing more than the failed outcome based education of the 90's. CBE was added to the House version and embeds online formative tests in everyday learning which undermines children's privacy. It is entirely computer-based curriculum and eliminates the need for direct instruction from a qualified teacher and teachers become just facilitators/babysitters. There are no textbooks and therefore the parent has no knowledge of what lessons are being presented to their child.

  3. Change the State Board of Educationfrom appointed to elected positions by judicial districts. In order to restore local, parental, and community control of education, there has to be more direct accountability to parents, teachers and taxpayers of SC for the policy decisions being made. A fundamental step toward restoring local control and accountability to the major stakeholders is to ELECT the State Board of Education based on judicial circuit districts.
Decentralization of education is the key to any successful legislation. It is imperative we close the Federal government's stranglehold through their mandates over truly returning local control over SC children's future and education. SC could lead the way and become the first state in the nation to not accept any federal funding for education. We could truly not be tied down to Common Core aligned testing mandates and faulty globalist standards which are failing children in our classrooms. Teachers could teach again. And local school boards would be empowered by parents and taxpayers to choose the curriculum that best suits the needs of their community.

The ultimate goal should be local, parental, and community control. This present legislation doesn't address that at all, in fact it does the opposite by doubling down on top down control. Parents are not being treated as a major stakeholder in their child's education and this must change.

The present Education Oversight Committee as well as the SC State Board of Education are filled with politically appointed committee members and there is zero direct accountability to the taxpayers. These appointed people have failed for decades to get SC public school education on the right track. It is time to change the governance structure and eliminate Federal strangleholds. Merely paying teachers more and giving them a 30 minute break isn't going to achieve the results of a quality education for SC children. Contact your SC Columbia Senator today and tell them they better get this legislation right or you will hold them accountable for their failure at the ballot box. For more information on United States Parents Involved in Education visit their web page:

Monday, March 4, 2019

5% 18% = The Same Thing To Facebook

Pickens County Council Meeting Rescheduled ...

Tonight's Pickens County Council meeting has been cancelled and rescheduled for next Monday March 11, 2019.

March 2019 COTU Meeting

Hi Members!

Our next meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 19th at 7pm again at the Pizza Inn in Pickens.

We will be discussing political issues that YOU can step up to take action on.

And of course YOU can bring up issues that you think we need to focus on in the upcoming months. Suggest speakers you would like to hear from too!

ACTION ITEMS right now you can act on before our meeting are below:

There will be a Public Hearing taking place on March 18, 2019 from 6m-8pm
at Gaffney High School Auditorium located 149 Twin Lake Road, Gaffney SC in the Auditorium by the SC Senate Education Committee o the present Education Reform Bill S. 419/ H. 3759 . They are accepting written comments...or you can sign up to speak for 3 minutes. This is YOUR time to tell them what you think needs to be stricken from the bill or what you think needs to be added to Make SC Education Great Again... Here is link to article on hearing that took place in the House:

The entire companion Senate Bill can be viewed here:

Here is my written testimony that I gave to the House and plan on sending to Senate Education Committee as well:

My name is Johnnelle Raines, I reside in Pickens SC. I am submitting my testimony to you on House Bill 3759. I am a former first grade teacher with 29 years experience and a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education. I remain very active in discovering solutions to a failed public education system since retirement in 2003.

I have read the entire House Bill 3759 and will address my concerns to you about this woefully lacking legislation which does nothing to address the core problems with public education in SC which have been going on for decades.

First and foremost, this legislation does absolutely nothing to address the failed standards in place called SC College/Career Ready Standards. These standards are on the average 90% in line with failed Common Core Standards. Several studies have taken place on the failing results of Common Core and even the promoter of these standards and financier Bill Gates has acknowledged recently they are a failure. President Trump campaigned on the promise of ending Common Core. Standards drive testing and testing drives curriculum. Logic tells us if the standards are faulty in education the results will be faulty as well. Paying teachers more to teach faulty standards won't solve anything. Standards need to be addressed or everything you are doing will be ineffective and SC children will continue to place at the bottom of the rankings. Parents need to be able to choose a school which offers a curriculum that suits their child's needs, values, and beliefs...cookie cutter curriculum where every public school is following the same failed standards is NO CHOICE at all. Parents shouldn't be limited in merely choosing which building their child is attending but they should be able to have a curriculum choice of classical, technology free, religious-based, and non Common Core aligned curriculum. The recent survey for input you recently asked for was a slap in the face to the major stakeholder of only asked for input from teachers, students, and people who work in the education system Shame on you! Parents are a major stakeholder and their child's first teacher and you should be listening to them as well.

Second, this legislation does not address getting off the 9% Federal funds that come with failed mandates through ESSA. The tenth amendment is clear that Education is reserved to the States or to the people. The threat of losing 9% funding should not keep SC from choosing a better path for public education.

Third, this legislation does not address the fact that today's public schools agenda has shown it is more interested in producing worker bees who are cogs in wheel. There is an over emphasis on career readiness and producing students who are aligned with the United Nations' goals of a diversity, one world government, no borders, socialism, and a “global economy.” Self-determination and individualism has been abandoned in favor of testing of children to place them where the results of their tests dictate what their future job should be in the globalist agenda. Individualism has been replaced with group think. Is the intent of education merely producing worker bees for the State? Education should be the foundation of freedom for a child to determine their own chosen path for their future. Over focus on turning education into merely the means to job is quite frankly following the Communist China model.

Fourth, this legislation does not address the governance problem that exists in SC. Just recently voters clearly said they did NOT want the Superintendent of Education to be an appointed position. The proposal of creating another unelected bureaucracy committee chaired by the Lt. Governor and an unelected Czar is taking more accountability away from the parents and creating MORE unaccountable government. Why should we be forming another committee who recommends policies when that is what the State Board of Education's job is. Why should we be appointing a Czar of Education when we have an elected State Superintendent of Education? What we should be doing is eliminating the failed Education Oversight Committee whose recommendations continue to fail children. We should also move on making our SC State Board of Education elected positions based on judicial districts in order to give parents more direct control over accountability.

Fifth, this legislation does not address the data mining that is going on by third parties unbeknownst to parents. When Obama loosened the FERPA laws, we now have unsecured underage children's data posing a threat to children's right to privacy. The recently released “State Student Privacy Report Card” which graded the states on protecting student data gave SC a failing grade of “F”. That report was created by the Network for Public Education and the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy. The failing grade SC received is totally unacceptable when the main purpose of government is to protect their citizens. This should be addressed in this legislation.

Finally, SC has tried all kinds of “fixes” and spent untold amounts of money on trying to improve SC children's rankings to no avail. The latest fad is Competency Based Education which is nothing more than the failed outcome based education of the 1990's. Are you going to spend more money on failed unproven education short term fixes when the root problem is a failed governance system of not allowing a return to local control by empowering parents the ability to choose the curriculum they want for their child? If you don't address this root problem you will continue to see SC children rankings at the bottom and even more parents pulling their children out of the public school system. Please fix the root cause and not just throw taxpayer money at it and increase bureaucracy.

You can email your concerns to the Senate Education Committee at this link:



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Looking forward to our great discussions Tuesday March 19th at 7pm and eating Pizza at the Pizza Inn in Pickens. See you there! 

Johnnelle Raines, Steve Haynie, Kathy Nix

Leadership Team COTU

Your input needed for education reform bills

Reach out with your thoughts on the present Education Reform Bills H. 3759 and companion S. 419.

Below is announcement for a hearing in the Upstate at Gaffney High School where people can speak for 3 minutes.

Here is link if they want to write their thoughts.