Democratic Georgia Rep. rebukes her own party over school choice hypocrisy: ‘They don’t really care about inner city kids’

A Georgia lawmaker says the confession by her fellow Democrat of using a fake address to get a child into a better public school shows the “hypocrisy of my own Party,” and that “they don’t…

A Georgia lawmaker says the confession by her fellow Democrat of using a fake address to get a child into a better public school shows the “hypocrisy of my own Party,” and that “they don’t really care about inner city kids.”

Rep. Mesha Mainor made the allegation after her own party criticized her for supporting a school choice bill.

Her Democrat colleague, who she has not named, opposes school choice, including open enrollment, which would allow parents to pick schools of their choice outside of the school district in which they reside, with the tax dollars to fund the student following them.

“For some families a fake address is now their only way out of bad schools, but these people in the Legislature have options,” Mainor said in an interview with The Lion.

And apparently one of those options includes fraudulent enrollment with little chance of punishment for those who are well-connected. 

When asked if she was aware of the stiff penalties imposed on people for fraudulent use of an address for purposes of enrolling students in schools, Mainor said she was.  

“Yes, I know of people who have gone to jail for this very type of activity,” said Mainor.  

Mainor originally made the fraudulent enrollment charge via Fox News.   

Called “False swearing” under Georgia code, people found guilty of the act face “a fine of not more than $1,000.00” and “imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, or both.”  

In 2015, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported that the Atlanta Public School (APS) system had 300 cases of potential school enrollment fraud, with other cities in Georgia also complaining about the growing number of fraud cases.  

In 2014, APS billed the parents of 17 out-of-district students between $5,000 and $35,000 for fraudulently enrolling kids in a school in order to play football, said the AJC.  

Multiple emails and phone calls from The Lion to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s and Attorney General Christopher M. Carr’s offices, asking if the state would be starting an investigation into the allegations, have gone unanswered at time of publication.   

Mainor attracted the ire of Democratic leadership in Georgia for siding with Republicans on the question of school choice.

Fellow Democrat state Sen. Josh McLaurin promised to write a $1,000 check for anyone running against Mainor in the next Democratic primary.  

“All I need is a name,” said McLaurin via a tweet, which featured a check written by McLaurin and which was subsequently liked by Democratic state House Minority Whip Sam Park. 

Mainor said that she isn’t fazed by the threat, noting that the Democrats have primaried her before and lost badly.  

In the 2022 Democratic primary, for example, Democrats put up Keona Jones, who only attracted 28 percent of the vote against Mainor. 

When asked if she’d modify her pro-school choice positions even slightly to mollify her Democrat colleagues, Mainor said not in the slightest.  

“I don’t care if I never win another election again. Somebody has to stand up for what’s right, especially for the kids stuck in failing schools. I’ll never quit,” she told The Lion.  

But there is also one other thing she promised she’d never do.   

When asked if she’d cross the aisle to join the Republican Party, she quickly snapped “Never. Never, ever.”  

She then paused a moment, before musing, “I don’t know how it is with the Republicans, but the Democratic side is so disorganized. They have no strategic thinking.”