This first one is called “Is Donald Trump The Charter School Industry’s Worst Nightmare?” Let’s make sure he is. Does Trump’s vigorous support mean that all charters are evil? Of course not. Is it yet another strike for the deformers? You bet it is.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump likely just handed the charter school industry the worst sort of favor.
In unveiling his education plan, the Republican candidate proposed a $20 billion federal block grant to allow states to give vouchers to low-income students to attend whatever school they want.
The proposal is the most full-throated support for school choice ever issued by a presidential candidate in a general election campaign. It’s also the ill-conceived, grandiose and politically polarizing gesture that many charter school proponents feared most.
In a recent op-ed in USA Today, two prominent proponents of charter schools – David Osborne of the neoliberal, D.C.-based Progressive Policy Institute and Richard Whitmire, author of a laudatory biography of Michelle Rhee – warn of “two possible nightmares” that could befall the charter school industry during the presidential race. One nightmare is that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton allows “charters to drift from the Democratic agenda” by providing only nuanced or lukewarm support for the schools. The other nightmare is that Trump’s support for these schools “turns charters into a right-wing cause … that deep down only wants to fund vouchers.”
(Campaign for America’s Future)
A couple more items relevant to the impending election:
As students across the country head back to school this week, some will be traveling longer distances than usual to reach the classroom. These students do not live in remote areas. In fact, they live in some of the most urban districts in the country, and they used to have schools right in their own neighborhoods — until school boards and state officials closed their doors in the name of “reform.”
In May of 2014, civil rights organizers in Newark, Chicago and New Orleans filed complaints with the Department of Education demanding federal intervention to stop widespread discrimination against people of color in their cities’ public school systems. The complaints couldn’t have been more urgent — neighborhoods were literally losing their schools to closures and consolidations, and the students whose schools were being shuttered were overwhelmingly Black and Brown.
It’s been more than two years, and of those three cities, only Newark, New Jersey’s school system has reached an agreement with federal officials. Even that agreement, which requires the district to identify and fix transportation and academic problems faced by students displaced by school closures, is only between the district and federal officials. To the frustration of civil rights advocates, the deal does not include an agreement for accountability between the schools and the taxpaying families who say their children were systemically discriminated against as the closures swept through their neighborhoods.
This one has details on a number of ballot initiatives.
Whether it’s increasing funding for public schools in Maine, Oklahoma, or Oregon; making sure the wealthy continue to pay their fair share for public schools in California; defeating an effort to lift a cap on charter schools in Massachusetts; or turning back a constitutional amendment that would allow Georgia to take over local schools, educators, parents and residents are standing up for students and public schools at the ballot box this November.
From Mac Hall: Trump wants more “freedom” for state spending of federal dollars on education … funny, because many Republicans have wanted to just eliminate the Department of Education.
So maybe, more focus needs to be done on what is happening at the state level … and how they are using current “freedom” to fund programs they like. For example, are you familiar with what is going on in Ohio … via the Electronic Classroom Of Tomorrow (ECOT) program ?
Cathy Johnson, who currently serves as President of the South-Western City School Board, is alerting voters that ECOT has over-billed taxpayers by over $60 million with a call for swift action on the part of the e-school. Further, she criticized Republican Representative Stephanie Kunze for taking large campaign contributions from ECOT’s founder, Bill Lager. Kunze has accepted $33,000 from Lager in just the past few years. “ECOT thinks they can steal tens of millions from taxpayers because they have donated so much money to the lawmakers who should be regulating them,” said Johnson. “Rep. Kunze has received some of the largest donations from ECOT’s founder, who we now know has been profiting at the expense of Ohio’s kids. She should be ashamed of herself.”
Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow believes that students enrollment is all that matters., ECOT is not concerned students actually participate in their online classes, just that ECOT provides classes.
Good news … Cathy Johnson is Candidate for the Ohio Senate in the 16th District challenging Stephanie Kunze.
Combine President Trump with For-Profit Republicans spells a big bill for taxpayers … and unprepared workers for tomorrow.