Carol Lerner, retired educator and the chair of POPS Manasota

This podcast is long overdue. Recorded last summer, I sat down with Carol Lerner to discuss her organization and advocacy yet never published this episode due to prioritizing political candidates leading up the election. The content, however, makes this an ideal podcast to listen to and share with others, especially with the 2019 legislative session just around the corner.

On this episode, Carol discusses the aims of the POPS Manasota organization; provides an excellent overview of the pernicious influence of corporate charter management companies, specifically Academica; walks the audience through the tax credit scholarship program that diverts would-be tax dollars away from the state’s general fund and toward private schools with no accountability; and closes out our chat with how much “dark money” is influencing school board races, particularly in Sarasota county.

If you’d like to learn more about POPS Manasota or join its cause if you live locally in Manatee or Sarasota, you can Like or Follow their Facebook page, follow along on Twitter, or reach out to Carol directly by emailing

P.S. – If you’d like to learn how much “dark money” is being used to infiltrate local school boards to further along the privatization efforts by the corporate charter companies and their legislative lackeys, watch this highly informative video below.

Charlie Kennedy, Chair of Manatee County School Board

“I told my students that if you see something wrong don’t just complain about it, but stand up and do something.” – Charlie Kennedy, on how he went from classroom teacher to school board member based on living up to the advice he routinely gave his students.

This edition of the Teacher Voice podcast is an engaging discussion with Charlie Kennedy, the District 2 representative and current Chair of the Manatee County School Board. During our dialogue we cover various topics affecting education in his county and across the Sunshine State, from an upcoming special election vote to raise the millage rate in Manatee, to the coming consequences and legal battle against HB7069.

Please listen and share with any and all education advocates who may be interested!