Pretty much every day I get mad. Yesterday, it was this in the Times, written by Erica Green:
Charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run, are securing coronavirus relief meant for businesses even as they also benefit from public school aid.
The article begins:
WASHINGTON — Charter schools, including some with healthy cash balances and billionaire backers like Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates, have quietly accepted millions of dollars in emergency coronavirus relief from a fund created to help struggling small businesses stay afloat.
Since their inception, charter schools have straddled the line between public schools and private entities. The coronavirus has forced them to choose.
And dozens of them — potentially more because the Treasury Department has not disclosed a list — have decided for the purpose of coronavirus relief that they are businesses, applying for aid even as they continue to enjoy funding from school budgets, tax-free status and, in some cases, healthy cash balances and the support of billionaire backers.
That has let them tap the Paycheck Protection Program, which Congress intended to keep businesses and nonprofits from shedding jobs and closing their doors. Parents, activists and researchers have identified at least $50 million in forgivable loans flowing to the schools, which, like all schools, are facing steep budget cuts next year as tax revenue, tuition payments and donations dry up.
Now, can you figure out why I’m mad? Yes? Good because I’m far too angry to pull myself together to write about this.
Except to say: I don’t like charter schools to begin with. I see them as deviously re-calculated and re-branded contemporary versions of “segregation academies “ — the Deep South’s reaction to Brown v Topeka.
In the 1950s, what certain states, one of them Virginia, did was to allow white parents to set up their own private segregated academies — with public funding assistance — while stripping public schools of any funding whatsoever. Major segments of Virginia in effect canceled public education for kids who weren’t white.
Brown, in itself, was the initial provocation for the oligarchic-financed “Libertarian” drive to destroy labor unions, in this “charter school” case, the teachers’ unions.
I have nothing but contempt for the disingenuous rationale for charter schools when the reality is stripping public schools of funds, and de-unionizing staffing.
Oh, I could go so deep into this but let’s leave it this way. Look at that story. These are rich people who think they know better than educational professionals how to teach kids, and who profit from the schools they found while not spending their own money because they don’t need to — they strip public schools of funding for their own little academies.
And now they’re stealing our tax money to support their charter schools through the pandemic, while at the same time taking public school money for the same purpose.
Thieves. Fucking thieves.
I’m envisioning a new federal government in 2021 with a major DOJ and Treasury unit combining to investigate and sue these people and get our tax money back.