But a few weeks ago I read an article about how "good" schools in economically depressed areas are spurring housing prices upward. A thought came to my mind. What if this was a push to drive up prices in a real estate market that was cheap to invest in?
Then Governor Bevin forced out Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt with a Board of Education made up of several new Bevin appointees, including real estate developer Hal Heiner. It is thought that Pruitt was NOT going to say JCPS needed to be taken over by the state, so he had to be tossed out.
Then today an article came out in Insider Louisville about how the church Governor Bevin and Hal Heiner attend is starting to pour money into Louisville's West End real estate. This, combined with tax incentives for developers is spurring development in the area that is driving up property values, which is impacting both rent and property taxes for residents there.
So it got me thinking about how this is all going to shake out. There is lots of cheap real estate to be had in the West End. If you control the local public school board (via state takeover) AND control education at the state level, you dictate what happens with one of the primary drivers of home purchases, school systems. If you use both the law and funding to your advantage, you can shift funding and focus to schools in the areas you're trying to develop and help accelerate the real estate market you and your friends have already invested in. And since you have control of the schools, you can run traditional public schools in such a way that privatized charters and private schools look better by comparison, and thus receive more public funding and tuition. As an added bonus, perhaps your church, which has actively attempted to bring religion into public schools, gets a piece of the action.
Some might say it's far-fetched, but it's clear that both Bevin and Heiner have no qualms doing or saying whatever they need to get whatever they want. I certainly hope as this educational saga continues, our local media is playing very close attention and following the money.