By Kentucky law, the Board of Education must reflect the racial, gender, and political makeup of the state – which meant that one of the two appointments had to be a Republican.
In response to mounting pressure, Governor Beshear named two appointees to the Board of Education – Julie Pile (Republican) and Diana Woods (Democrat).
So who is Governor Beshear’s Republican nominee for the Board of Education?
If you read the Courier-Journal or any other mainstream news source in Kentucky, you will find her standard biographical resume:
“Pile, a Republican from Florence, has spent more than a decade in various school volunteer positions in Northern Kentucky Schools. She cofounded ParentCamp, a nonprofit organization focused on bolstering family and school engagement and remains the group's president.”
Interestingly, the news consistently fails to report that she lost her re-election to the Boone County School Board in 2022 to a conservative school board candidate, Cindy Young.
And just as the people of Boone County rejected Mrs. Pile's bid for re-election, the Kentucky Senate should also deny her confirmation to the Kentucky Board of Education.
In the confirmation process, Kentucky senators will first review her resume to determine what Mrs. Pile has done. However, President Stivers and his Republican super-majority should be far more concerned about how Mrs. Pile thinks.
We recently uncovered some alarming Facebook posts that expose Mrs. Pile’s radical liberal ideology. In particular, one year into the COVID lockdowns, Mrs. Pile strongly endorsed this article claiming that reopening schools was "rooted in racism."
In fact, Mrs. Pile shared this same outlandish article once again through her Boone County School Board Facebook page.
Given her repeated compliments of the article, it seems irrefutable that Mrs. Pile supports the author’s core argument that reopening schools was racist.
Uncovering this evidence about Mrs. Pile leads to three conclusions:
1. Her radical ideology is disqualifying. Mrs. Pile supported continued school closures one year into the COVID-19 lockdowns and suggested that re-opening them was racist.
Kentucky's students deserve someone better than a board member who will enable Gov. Beshear's and Commissioner Jason Glass's radical education agendas.
2. School choice is the real answer. Last session, there was sincere interest among legislators in making school board races partisan. Though partisan elections may help, it is far too easy for voters to be fooled by superficial party affiliation since liberals like Julie Pile can easily register as a Republican.
Instead, legislators must focus their attention next session on high impact education reform, specifically empowering parents to vote with their dollars by enacting universal school choice. At the end of the day, school choice is the strongest form of accountability to the education system. Without it, parents are all bark and no bite.
3. The Cameron vs. Beshear race matters. If Daniel Cameron wins the gubernatorial election this November, Cameron will be able to appoint up to 9 of the 11 seats on the Kentucky Board of Education early on in his tenure. Remember, the government belongs to those who show up.