Today, the U.S Department of Education announced today that it had approved $245 million in grants to eight states under the federal Charter School Program. The states, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, will receive $177 million in grant money. In addition, 15 charter management organizations, including IDEA Public Schools in Texas and KIPP’s public charter school network in California, will receive $68 million in taxpayer dollars.
One could be forgiven for thinking "National Charter School Week" already happened. The made-up "National School Choice Week" was just 14 weeks ago. It's an easy mistake to make.
A new review of documents provided to the Center for Media and Democracy/PRWatch from the state of Colorado shows close relationships between the agency charged with administering public education and the growing charter school industry.
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.
Thursday, hundreds of state legislators from across the nation headed out to an "island" resort on the coast of Florida to a unique "education academy" sponsored by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). There were no students or teachers. Instead, legislators, representatives from right-wing think tanks and for-profit education corporations met behind closed doors to channel their inner Milton Friedman and promote the radical transformation of the American education system into a private, for-profit enterprise.