Louisiana parent activist and attorney Sara Wood describes former state lawmaker Brett Geymann as a “modern day Sam Adams” and a “statesman” who will help steer Congress back to its rightful constitutional authority.
Geymann, a former state representative who led the charge against the Common Core standards in the Louisiana state legislature, is one of seven Republicans running for the state’s 3rd district congressional seat. However, he is usually recognized for his fight against corporate cronies bent on pushing through the one-size-fits-all nationalized standards.
“Brett has withstood 12 years of state politics and not only survived with his morals and principles in tact, which is exceptional in itself, but is even stronger and more convicted to those morals and principles as he looks ahead to fight battles to restore our Constitutional Republic,” Wood tells Breitbart News.
Geymann, who left the state House when his term limits expired, is seeking to fill the seat of Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), who is running for the U.S. Senate. He sees his work with parent activists in the fight against Common Core as a foundation for his congressional campaign.
“It gives us an advantage in this race that we have that ground game in place,” Geymann tells Breitbart News. “We have active parents throughout the district who have been in battle with us over Common Core. We’ve been able to meet with them and get their support in this race as well.”
“It’s been very good for us to be able to walk in and speak to various groups and say, ‘I was one of the leaders in opposition to Common Core’ and see heads nod around the room as they recognize that,” he adds.
Wood says with individuals like Geymann in Congress, she is hopeful America can recover from its “all-consuming government.”
“Brett is our modern day statesman – a Sam Adams in his own right, but with just as much, if not more, potential to leave a lasting mark on this country of healing and restoration that is long overdue,” she observes.
Parent education activist Caryn Jenkins agrees, describing Geymann’s humility and integrity as qualities that are sorely needed for both Louisiana and the country at large.
“Brett has been a statesman of honor and integrity who has worked tirelessly to protect the Constitution and speak for the people of Louisiana,” she tells Breitbart News. “He has been a humble and tireless champion for the children, parents, and teachers of the state by fighting for local control of education.”
Jenkins recounts the attacks Geymann has endured from corporatists attempting to force nationalized academic standards on Louisiana to benefit their own agenda.
Even as special interest groups funded by billionaires attacked him from every angle, and bribed politicians aimed to cripple his determination, Brett’s faith has helped him remain a strong and effective voice. And through his tenure as a legislator he has shown that, while he can work well with other legislators, he can also be an unwavering voice to protect what our founding fathers were determined to lay as a foundation for this state and country.
As USA Today reported, Geymann is a fiscal conservative and small business owner. He is the author of what became known as the “Geymann Rule,” a provision that “limited the state Legislature’s ability to use one-time money on recurring expenses.”
Geymann’s main competitor in the race is Scott Angelle, who ran against current U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R) in Louisiana’s gubernatorial race last year.
One of Geymann’s campaign planks is “principles above party,” a theme Elizabeth Meyers, Ed.D., education and public policy researcher, says describes him well.
“In the past several years our group has worked alongside Rep. Geymann on education issues,” she tells Breitbart News. “I have found he is one of the few men in political office that I can say, without hesitation, is a man of honor and integrity.”
In addition to Common Core, Geymann has also taken on the deeper concerns surrounding the issue of school choice – which many Republicans support as an ostensibly “conservative” idea.
“Conceptually speaking, school choice sounds really good,” he says, “but I am concerned that corporatists seem to be using school choice as part of their battle call.”
The problem with school choice as I see it is if you’re having Common Core, you’re having a nationalized education and nationalized curriculum and testing, changing schools is nothing more than changing the color of the bricks. You’re leaving one school and going into the same curriculum and standards and testing as the school down the road.
Competition could work, however, Geymann says, as long as it’s not used “as a corporatist agenda as a means to take over education.”
Geymann’s concerns about the concept of school choice are shared by others who are advocates for education freedom so that parents can make the choice for their child’s education.
“Educational choice programs empower parents to choose the education that best meets their child’s needs,” Cato observed, for example. “While all humans are imperfect, parents have historically made considerably better educational choices for their own children than state-appointed bureaucrats have made for the children of others.”
The reality, however, is that if parents “choose” to send their children to a private school, that school may have additional regulatory burdens placed upon it by the state in which it is located in order to qualify as a participant in a school choice program.
In a 2010 study at Cato, Andrew Coulson looked at the question of whether school vouchers and tax credits increase regulation of private schools, and ultimately found that “vouchers, but not tax credits, impose a substantial and statistically significant additional regulatory burden on participating private schools.”
Voucher programs, Coulson concluded, are more likely to “suffocate the very markets to which they aim to expand access,” because state funds—which invariably invite state regulation—are directly transferred, in the form of vouchers, to parents to spend in an alternate education setting.
Tax credit scholarships, however, involve no state funds directly expended on private schools. Instead, taxpayers, both individual and businesses, can receive full or partial tax credits when they donate money to nonprofits that provide private school scholarships.
“For the most part, voucher programs are truly about getting more educational power to parents, but accepting rules and regulations is often the price of getting and keeping such programs,” Dr. Neal McCluskey, Associate Director of the Center for Educational Freedom at Cato, told Breitbart News. “Opponents of choice want the programs hamstrung, and many people feel like, if their tax money is going to go to a private school, they should get some sort of assurance it is ‘working.’”
“This is why the superior method of delivering choice is through scholarship tax credits, programs in which individuals or corporations get credits for money they choose to donate to scholarship-granting organizations,” he added. “That eliminates the concern that a taxpayer’s money is going, against their will, to a school of which they disapprove.”
“In a perfect world what would happen is parents in a local community would take their schools back and fix them,” Geymann observes. “Is school choice going to fix the problem, or just shift it to another school?”