Obama Administration Enables Billionaire Takeover of America's Public Schools

The Feds are cheerleaders, as the Walmart Family, Reed Hastings and others are using billions to turn public schools into private charters.

 

First graders at Columbus Charter School in Whiteville, N.C. – part of the chain founded by Baker Mitchell.
Photo Credit: Travis Dove for ProPublica

With the Walton billionaires doubling down in their efforts to accelerate the charter school industry and with the Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, throwing in $100 million to privatize traditional public schools, one might think that the U.S. Department of Education would be a major line of defense for America’s public schools educating the most underserved students or even a bold investor in sustainable community schools that are truly public. 

One would be wrong.

The U.S. Department of Education, as with the education agencies of many states, has been co-opted by the spending frenzy of the billionaire class.

It’s not just the Waltons and Hastings using their fortunes to undermine public education: Eli Broad has pledged nearly a half billion dollars to privatize the public schools of Los Angeles. They are mounting a radical--or really a reactionary--effort to remake public schools into private enterprises, and charters are a key component of the transition the billionaires seek. 

And editorial decisions by many in the press have aided and abetted this effort.

For example, the Walton family’s press release about its new spending—which comes on top of the nearly $200 million they already spend on education “reform” each year—was widely reported, while the federal budget deal allocated $330 million more for charters was barely covered. The federal expansion of funding comes in the face of numerous scandals involving poor test results from so-called virtual charter schools and the documentation of more than $200 million of fraud and waste of taxpayer money by charter school operators. 

But the billionaires’ star power garnered coverage and repetition of the “reform” talking points, despite the manifest evidence of the failures of many charter school experiments.

It’s not just the press.

This movement that touts “choice”--as a more appealing frame than the “destruction” of truly public schools governed by local democracy--has been embraced by politicians who need financial support from billionaires to win their elections. And, increasingly, these political leaders have been followed into a variant of “public service” by cadres of school reform staffers and charter school cheerleaders who advance private interests.

A recent PowerPoint presentation created by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) underscores how complete that take-over is, after the federal government has itself spent billions in American tax dollars building up and buttressing the charter school industry.   

Its 25-slide PowerPoint document, “The U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program Overview,” is an uncritical PR document embracing a magical idea of charter schools.

While it is unclear what audience the department was targeting, it clearly shows how ED has become a propagandist for charter schools--despite the mountain of fraud and failure that investigators and bloggers have documented

Some of the slides are comical to the point of parody. One enthusiastically asks, “Do states with the highest-performing charter schools receive [State Educational Agency] funding?” With 38 states receiving this funding, should it be surprising that some of them have some schools that test better than other charter schools that also receive funding? 

Another slide says, “As of SY 2011-12, CSP-Funded Schools Serve a Similar Percentage of Students and Disabilities and Limited English Proficient Students as Traditional Schools,” and then shows four lonely bar graphs. Nine percent of the students at Charter School Program-funded schools have disabilities and 11 percent at “traditional schools” do. Are percentages ever really “similar”? And can’t the department’s PowerPoint writers find a less defensive way to say, “Sometimes charter schools accept students with disabilities”?  

With 20 years of data to draw from, many charter schools have failed and closed as the Center for Media and Democracy has noted, and many others have not been shown to boost student achievement. But as the industry has grown under federal funding, so has its lobbying muscle (largely at taxpayer expense). With each passing year the enthusiasm for charters increases among right-wing and libertarian school privatization advocates along with many of the reporters and pundits who rely on this heavily-bankrolled industry for quotes and claims.  

Charter schools are supported by taxpayer dollars but exempt from many of the requirements and standards of truly public schools due to the way its architects created them through legislation peddled by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Sometimes they are not governed by elected school boards and there is very little oversight concerning how they educate students or spend the money they get from the government. 

Charters divert billions of taxpayer dollars from public schools and have been frequently exposed as fraudulent and wasteful. As CMD’s lengthy investigation into charter school spending found, an undisclosed number of schools receiving millions in federal funds, cumulatively, have closed or never even opened. ED's PowerPoint does not tackle these thorny issues. 

Instead, the very first slide of the ED PowerPoint asks, "What is the purpose and history of the U.S. Department of Education's Charter Schools Program?" It turns out that "evaluating the effects of public charter schools" is only the second of “four statutory purposes.” 

The other three, apparently independent of the effects the schools have, are 1) “Providing financial assistance for the planning, program design and initial implementation,” and 3) “Expanding the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the United States,” and 4) “Encouraging states to provide support to charter schools for facilities planning.”

In other words, once ED evaluates “the effects” of charter schools and finds that they do not help students or that they collectively weaken the state of public education in general, it still has a duty to fund them, create more of them, and get states to fund them. That explains a lot.  

Slide number 4 reveals that the ED’s Charter School Program has provided more than $3.3 billion to “fund the start-up, replication and expansion of public charter schools.” 

Very interesting. 

CMD was unable to extract this number from DOE despite inquiries and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests since 2014. Ultimately, CMD calculated the amount at more than $3.3 billion (not adjusted for inflation) earlier in 2015, and more than $3.7 billion with the latest round of spending. 

In October 2015, after waiting for incomplete answers from ED and state agencies, CMD published “Charter School Black Hole,” a special investigation of federal charter school spending and its links to ALEC. 

Two months later, on Christmas Eve 2015, ED released a list of the charter schools that had received federal funding since 2006. The list was incomplete, the dollar figures were still unclear, and everyone knows that you release information on Christmas Eve because you don’t want anyone to see it. Still, it was something. 

Now, it turns out, ED may have been tracking this information all along. The $3.3 billion it identifies is pretty close to the $3.3 billion CMD initially found after painstakingly combing through more than two decades of congressional appropriations. If you were a ED PowerPoint writer you might even call these numbers “similar.” (Based on new appropriations by Congress, CMD has noted that the current tally is more than $3.7 billion.)

What is far too similar is the extent to which the Department of Education’s charter school agenda matches that of the anti-education, pro-privatization movement that funds and promotes so much of the misinformation about public education. 

This movement already gets all the support it needs from the Waltons, the Koch brothers, the DeVos family, Bill and Melinda Gates, and tech billionaires.

Let’s put the taxpayers’ money to better use. 

http://www.alternet.org/educat...ricas-public-schools

Original Post

Charter schools were around long before President Obama was elected, and since the funds allotted to Charter Schools/Private Schools is "statutory",  ANY administration is obligated [by law] to allocate funding to Charter and Private Schools by mandate of Congress, and with little or no discretion left to the present administration or any other administration.

 

sunnubian posted:

Charter schools were around long before President Obama was elected, and since the funds allotted to Charter Schools/Private Schools is "statutory",  ANY administration is obligated [by law] to allocate funding to Charter and Private Schools by mandate of Congress, and with little or no discretion left to the present administration or any other administration.

 

This is what the Republicans do. Charter schools is a Republican right wing idea they push strongly because its another way to PRIVATIZE a government common. They do the same things to every government common for PROFIT. They been working on the US Post Office, Congress is forcing US Postal to pre-pay health and retirement benefits decades ahead of time in the billions to starve it of money. Its a manufactured crisis with the goal of privatizing postal service.

Its what Republicans do, starve the government common or service of money to make it inefficient and tardy to turn public opinion against it, to push the narrative that government is bad and can't do things right. And then present privatizing as the solution while bragging running it like a business for profit is better and they are almost there with the US Post Office.

They are doing the same with our public schools. The Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, an Obama appointment, is a big advocate of charter schools, he believes reducing funding for schools by 18 to 20% right off the top for profit is good, wtf! 

This is all about siphoning tax money to wealthy investors and part of the game is starving funding to schools to make them perform poorly to cause the public to turn to charter schools to siphon tax money into private pockets. 

The US public school funding is about $550 billion a year, greedy bastards are going to find a why to get a chunk of that money by directing less toward education itself by taking profit through charter schools. Here where I live there is a chain of for profit charter schools owned by a Turkish billionaire. And that is what charter schools are set up to do, siphon tax money into private pockets. I know many charter schools are non profit but the fact remains, when a charter school is created it reduces funding to public schools. Its an inherently poor way to direct money toward public education but what charter process is meant to do is STARVE public schools of funding to the point of dysfunction to make privatizing appear to be a better option on the way to privatize the whole public education system FOR PROFIT, this is evil. 

The way I see it, Public Schools for the most part suck anyway and defacto for-profit.

Public Schools are funded by property taxes and the lottery. Public schools in the USA are not based on a Universal Education system. Where you go and the equality of education depends on how wealthy you are. 

It is basically, "If you are rich, you go to a nice public school, if you are poor, you go to a shitty one."

I don't know why there is an outrage due to Charter schools. Charter schools are just honest public schools.  America sucks at educating it's population anyway. 

And Gov't and the wealthy go hand in hand. It's what having a Republic is about. There is a symbiotic relationship between wealthy and the Gov't.

The wealthy provide services the Gov't can't. And then the wealthy get kickbacks such as favorable laws and tax breaks and patents and etc. to provide these essential services the Gov't can't. 

So when the Gov't needs something, they gonna call the Waltons or Zuckerberg or Bill Gates and go..."How would you like to help revolutionize USA education by donating 500 million dollars over the course of 10 years to Charter schools..."

And the wealthy goes, "Sure I would love to..."

I mean the USA Gov't used the Mafia in World War 2 and during the Civil Rights Era to do shit the Gov't couldn't do, like spying and controlling ports. 

Powerful organizations and individuals collaborating with the Gov't to influence policy is the hallmark of a Republic, since the Gov't limits itself on it's power. 

GoodMan posted:

The way I see it, Public Schools for the most part suck anyway and defacto for-profit.

Public Schools are funded by property taxes and the lottery. Public schools in the USA are not based on a Universal Education system. Where you go and the equality of education depends on how wealthy you are. 

It is basically, "If you are rich, you go to a nice public school, if you are poor, you go to a shitty one."

I don't know why there is an outrage due to Charter schools. Charter schools are just honest public schools.  America sucks at educating it's population anyway. 

And Gov't and the wealthy go hand in hand. It's what having a Republic is about. There is a symbiotic relationship between wealthy and the Gov't.

The wealthy provide services the Gov't can't. And then the wealthy get kickbacks such as favorable laws and tax breaks and patents and etc. to provide these essential services the Gov't can't. 

So when the Gov't needs something, they gonna call the Waltons or Zuckerberg or Bill Gates and go..."How would you like to help revolutionize USA education by donating 500 million dollars over the course of 10 years to Charter schools..."

And the wealthy goes, "Sure I would love to..."

I mean the USA Gov't used the Mafia in World War 2 and during the Civil Rights Era to do shit the Gov't couldn't do, like spying and controlling ports. 

Powerful organizations and individuals collaborating with the Gov't to influence policy is the hallmark of a Republic, since the Gov't limits itself on it's power. 

I agree, could not have said it better, the way things are the corporate\plutocrat establishment get whatever they want. This is a corporate oligarchy that is aggressively represented by the White House and Congress. 

Good, when they go on one of their foreign country killing sprees, only the rich and well educated will be able to serve. The rest will be too fucking dumb to put their boots on; forget putting the bastards on the ground. For once, black lives will matter, because they won't have to worry about getting shot dead on the front lines. They won't be smart enough. That's all this is about.  Keeping us dumb as boxes of rocks; all slave-like and shit. Something's wrong with these creeps. Yeah, I said it!!!!!! I mean it too!!!!!!!

Public Schools have not always been funded based on property taxes as they are now; they started doing that right afterintegration and right before they closed down 99% of schools in predominately Black communities across America. It was a plow to make sure that schools in predominately White communities would receive the most funding and closing down 99% of the schools in Black and predominately Black communities across the country guaranteed that all or the vast majority of funding would go to schools in White and predominately White communities, vicariously propping up the property value and prestige of only White and predominately White communities.  

It was a plow to make sure that schools in predominately White communities would receive the most funding and closing down 99% of the schools in Black and predominately Black communities across the country guaranteed that all or the vast majority of funding would go to schools in White and predominately White communities, vicariously propping up the property value and prestige of only White and predominately White communities, not to mention the negative psychological effect on all the Black children that were bused miles away from their communities to schools while schools in their own communities were "deemed"  'unworthy', 'not good enough' 'inferior'.  

The problem with "Charter Schools" is that it really makes no sense to take money from public schools to open other schools instead of spending that same money to improve public schools with programs, etc., that "Charter Schools" boast.  If the "Charter School" methods, etc., work so well, why would that same money not be kept to fund public schools implementing that same program or model?  

"Charter Schools" are just being propped up all across this country as a back-door way to privatize public schools by financially crippling public schools and to smokescreen the fact that tax payer's dollars are funding Private schools that the majority of tax payer's can't afford to send their kids to. 

 

 

sunnubian posted:

Public Schools have not always been funded based on property taxes as they are now; they started doing that right afterintegration and right before they closed down 99% of schools in predominately Black communities across America. It was a plow to make sure that schools in predominately White communities would receive the most funding and closing down 99% of the schools in Black and predominately Black communities across the country guaranteed that all or the vast majority of funding would go to schools in White and predominately White communities, vicariously propping up the property value and prestige of only White and predominately White communities.  

It was a plow to make sure that schools in predominately White communities would receive the most funding and closing down 99% of the schools in Black and predominately Black communities across the country guaranteed that all or the vast majority of funding would go to schools in White and predominately White communities, vicariously propping up the property value and prestige of only White and predominately White communities, not to mention the negative psychological effect on all the Black children that were bused miles away from their communities to schools while schools in their own communities were "deemed"  'unworthy', 'not good enough' 'inferior'.  

The problem with "Charter Schools" is that it really makes no sense to take money from public schools to open other schools instead of spending that same money to improve public schools with programs, etc., that "Charter Schools" boast.  If the "Charter School" methods, etc., work so well, why would that same money not be kept to fund public schools implementing that same program or model?  

"Charter Schools" are just being propped up all across this country as a back-door way to privatize public schools by financially crippling public schools and to smokescreen the fact that tax payer's dollars are funding Private schools that the majority of tax payer's can't afford to send their kids to. 

 

 

Where I live there are as many Charter Schools as Public Schools and many of them are for profit. For example there is a chain of 46 charter schools that is owned by a Turkish billionaire in Texas.

But I have to say many of the schools seem to get good reports from parents but they make a profit by not having sports and other things and do not pay their teachers as well and with less benefits and the parents often have to come out of pocket for activities. Some of the schools are 6 days a week. We threatened my son with the 6 days a week school and he straightened out, LOL. 

There are other large charter school chains for profit in the area. Some are Black owned and ran. 

But what I find interesting, most charter schools serve minorities and white kids go to regular well funded fancy public schools. More than a few of those public schools white kids go to have multi million dollar football stadiums and sport complexes, Olympic size swimming pools and fancy marching bands, I mean the works. You won't find many charter schools in white neighborhoods if at all.  

 

Charter Schools No Cure-All for Black Students, Says Study

http://news.utexas.edu/2012/04...-students-says-study

Momentum posted:
sunnubian posted:

Public Schools have not always been funded based on property taxes as they are now; they started doing that right afterintegration and right before they closed down 99% of schools in predominately Black communities across America. It was a plow to make sure that schools in predominately White communities would receive the most funding and closing down 99% of the schools in Black and predominately Black communities across the country guaranteed that all or the vast majority of funding would go to schools in White and predominately White communities, vicariously propping up the property value and prestige of only White and predominately White communities.  

It was a plow to make sure that schools in predominately White communities would receive the most funding and closing down 99% of the schools in Black and predominately Black communities across the country guaranteed that all or the vast majority of funding would go to schools in White and predominately White communities, vicariously propping up the property value and prestige of only White and predominately White communities, not to mention the negative psychological effect on all the Black children that were bused miles away from their communities to schools while schools in their own communities were "deemed"  'unworthy', 'not good enough' 'inferior'.  

The problem with "Charter Schools" is that it really makes no sense to take money from public schools to open other schools instead of spending that same money to improve public schools with programs, etc., that "Charter Schools" boast.  If the "Charter School" methods, etc., work so well, why would that same money not be kept to fund public schools implementing that same program or model?  

"Charter Schools" are just being propped up all across this country as a back-door way to privatize public schools by financially crippling public schools and to smokescreen the fact that tax payer's dollars are funding Private schools that the majority of tax payer's can't afford to send their kids to. 

 

 

Where I live there are as many Charter Schools as Public Schools and many of them are for profit. For example there is a chain of 46 charter schools that is owned by a Turkish billionaire in Texas.

But I have to say many of the schools seem to get good reports from parents but they make a profit by not having sports and other things and do not pay their teachers as well and with less benefits and the parents often have to come out of pocket for activities. Some of the schools are 6 days a week. We threatened my son with the 6 days a week school and he straightened out, LOL. 

There are other large charter school chains for profit in the area. Some are Black owned and ran. 

But what I find interesting, most charter schools serve minorities and white kids go to regular well funded fancy public schools. More than a few of those public schools white kids go to have multi million dollar football stadiums and sport complexes, Olympic size swimming pools and fancy marching bands, I mean the works. You won't find many charter schools in white neighborhoods if at all.  

Charter Schools No Cure-All for Black Students, Says Study

http://news.utexas.edu/2012/04...-students-says-study

All I'm saying is that it is just another ruse just like "integration" was, it's just another way to use tax payer's dollars to fund an educational system that is designed to benefit predominately White students and predominately White communities.  Having a number of Charter Schools for African American children to attend is just to pacify Black people and minorities and quell any descent until they can get the majority of public school funding diverted, then that's when you will see the rug pulled from under African American students and right when African American children have nowhere else to go but to the public schools that  have been almost totally fleeced by their scheme.

sunnubian posted:
Momentum posted:
sunnubian posted:

Public Schools have not always been funded based on property taxes as they are now; they started doing that right afterintegration and right before they closed down 99% of schools in predominately Black communities across America. It was a plow to make sure that schools in predominately White communities would receive the most funding and closing down 99% of the schools in Black and predominately Black communities across the country guaranteed that all or the vast majority of funding would go to schools in White and predominately White communities, vicariously propping up the property value and prestige of only White and predominately White communities.  

It was a plow to make sure that schools in predominately White communities would receive the most funding and closing down 99% of the schools in Black and predominately Black communities across the country guaranteed that all or the vast majority of funding would go to schools in White and predominately White communities, vicariously propping up the property value and prestige of only White and predominately White communities, not to mention the negative psychological effect on all the Black children that were bused miles away from their communities to schools while schools in their own communities were "deemed"  'unworthy', 'not good enough' 'inferior'.  

The problem with "Charter Schools" is that it really makes no sense to take money from public schools to open other schools instead of spending that same money to improve public schools with programs, etc., that "Charter Schools" boast.  If the "Charter School" methods, etc., work so well, why would that same money not be kept to fund public schools implementing that same program or model?  

"Charter Schools" are just being propped up all across this country as a back-door way to privatize public schools by financially crippling public schools and to smokescreen the fact that tax payer's dollars are funding Private schools that the majority of tax payer's can't afford to send their kids to. 

 

 

Where I live there are as many Charter Schools as Public Schools and many of them are for profit. For example there is a chain of 46 charter schools that is owned by a Turkish billionaire in Texas.

But I have to say many of the schools seem to get good reports from parents but they make a profit by not having sports and other things and do not pay their teachers as well and with less benefits and the parents often have to come out of pocket for activities. Some of the schools are 6 days a week. We threatened my son with the 6 days a week school and he straightened out, LOL. 

There are other large charter school chains for profit in the area. Some are Black owned and ran. 

But what I find interesting, most charter schools serve minorities and white kids go to regular well funded fancy public schools. More than a few of those public schools white kids go to have multi million dollar football stadiums and sport complexes, Olympic size swimming pools and fancy marching bands, I mean the works. You won't find many charter schools in white neighborhoods if at all.  

Charter Schools No Cure-All for Black Students, Says Study

http://news.utexas.edu/2012/04...-students-says-study

All I'm saying is that it is just another ruse just like "integration" was, it's just another way to use tax payer's dollars to fund an educational system that is designed to benefit predominately White students and predominately White communities.  Having a number of Charter Schools for African American children to attend is just to pacify Black people and minorities and quell any descent until they can get the majority of public school funding diverted, then that's when you will see the rug pulled from under African American students and right when African American children have nowhere else to go but to the public schools that  have been almost totally fleeced by their scheme.

No doubt and its going as planned...

A few white NFL QB's playing right now went to those fancy white Public Schools., Drew Brees, Nick Foles, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Matthew Stafford, Ryan Tannehill, Josh McCown, Johnny Manziel, Derek Carr all played in multi million dollar public school stadiums. 

Some of the stadiums cost as much as a 100 million, seriously. 

Matthew Stafford attended Highland Park high school, its in the Dallas area, probably the richest public high school in the nation. 

The reason why Charter schools exist is to allow "innovation" in education.

 

Basically, Charter schools don't have to listen what the Gov't says because it's in the private grey color arena.

 

That's what the USA does. It says, "We have these rules...but the private sector can do this, so we'll outsource that function to them and when shit hits the fan, we can clean it up, and when shit goes well, we get the credit for allowing innovation to occur."

Charter schools are no different than Blackwater or Lockheed. 

Plus, it's cheaper on the government to allow private entities to do government functions. And it creates a market and industry. It's just outsourcing. 

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