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How Billionaires Are Backing Charter School Push: AP


How Billionaires Are Backing Charter School Push: AP

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

A new analysis from The Associated Press delves into how billionaires are pouring their cash into state-level charter school advocacy groups.

Since 2006, such spending from the uber wealthy, via their private foundations and charities, has added up to nearly half a billion dollars, the analysis found.


Brown v Board of Education was decided in 1954, the year I was born. Linda Brown, the little girl central figure of the case died on my son’s birthday, March 25, this year. She was 76. Not enough has changed in those intervening years.
Today we have “good” schools in “good neighborhoods” and the ugly alternative. We have religious, private, and for profit schools leaching away the limited funds from public schools without the same accountability.

More than a half century ago, President Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 calling on Congress and the nation to make “full educational opportunity as our first national goal.” On June 29, days before celebrating our nation’s birthday, the Supreme Court told a group of Detroit students neither they, nor any of the nation’s students, have a right to literacy.

I am sick to death of the “school choice” argument. What choice does the crackhead’s kid have? If you want to test how progressive middle and upper class people truly are, tell them that their precious children will actually have to share educational space with marginalized poor students.


From the article:

“The Walton Family (beneficiaries of Walmart) is the richest family in America. There are many billionaires in the family. Like [Education Secretary] Betsy DeVos, they don’t like public education. They don’t like regulation. They love the free market.”
–Diane Ravitch

Ravitch, for whom I have great respect, should have put irony quotes around “free market;” what they love is, in fact, markets that they are free to dominate.

Then there’s this from David Safier of Tucson Weekly:

“The charter school movement owes its current level of success to its friends in high tax brackets. Lots of friends.”

Those tax brackets aren’t nearly high enough, it would appear, to prevent political and economic mischief-making.


If you haven’t yet read it, I urge you to find a copy of “Democracy in Chains” by Professor Nancy MacLean. She examines Brown v. Board and the fierce racist reaction to it, starting with the creation of private schools which were free to practice racial segregation, and continuing to this day with what is now called the “public choice” doctrine as espoused by the economics department at George Mason University in Virginia.


I, too, follow Diane Ravitch and applaud her efforts on behalf of the nation’s children. I’m also more than familiar with Alabama Representative Henry Beatty’s “free schools” scheme instituted immediately after the Brown ruling and the myriad schemes since. What concerns me even more is the sound of crickets surrounding your and my conversation on this crucial subject.


Obamers Education Secretary was pro charter, just remember that… After all, why should the rich pay for education here when they can import educated employees from other countries…


Thank you , Andrea, for introducing me to new names on this topic.