Editor: The “School Choice” movement has been co-opted by the establishment parties to eliminate local control of schools. By “privatizing” schools and then making them dependent and controlled by government the elites are working to cement their top down control. Everything that glitters is not gold. Investigate everything. Ignore the titles and summaries of bills and look at the fine print.
Heirs to the Walmart fortune will spend $1 billion over the next five years to support charter schools, the Associated Press reports.
The Walton Family Foundation has given to charter schools in the past, but the $1 billion to be spent through 2020 is a stark increase over the $385 million it has spent on charter schools in poor communities over the past 20 years.
“Our goal is that all families … have better schools,” said Marc Sternberg, who directs the foundation’s K-12 spending. “To be the rising tide to lift all boats.”
The AP’s Kelly Kissel writes, “The foundation said that, after analyzing its previous work, it’s clear that students and their families should have more options, such as at charter schools, and that it should be easier for families to learn about them.”
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School choice advocates will look forward to the investments, but not everyone is excited about the billion-dollar commitment. “It is not as though we have things in the (traditional) public school systems that don’t need to be improved,” Kim Anderson, senior director of the Center for Advocacy and Research at the National Education Association, told the AP. “A billion dollars would provide a tremendous amount of services to a number of school districts around the country. Eyeglasses. Hearing exams.” The NEA is the largest teachers’ union in the country.
Charter schools are publicly-funded and do not charge tuition. Compared to traditional public schools, charter schools have more independence in their operations and curricula, which is why so many families find charter schools desirable. They are open to all students, but they often don’t have enough space to meet demand. In that case, they use a random lottery system to determine admission.
The $1 billion will go to both new and existing schools.
Jason Russell is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.
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