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NYTimes Headline Misses the Point: Virginia Governor’s Race Is Not Being Shaped by “Schools”. It IS Being Shaped by Billionaires Who Seek to Privatize Public Services… Beginning with Education

October 13, 2021 Leave a comment

Lisa Lerer’s article on the Virginia Governor’s race focuses on the issues GOP candidate Glenn Younkin is raising about public education and mostly ignores the issues Terry McAuliffe focuses on. And, alas, Ms. Lerer’s article does NOT follow the money! Earlier this month the Washington Post published an article by Isaac Stanley Becker tracing the roots of the anti-vaxx, anti-mask, and anti-CRT rhetoric spouted by Mr. Youngkin to the usual group of mega-billionaires who want to privatize public services. Do the names Koch, DeVos, Walton ring any bells?

Moreover, buried in the article is the main difference between the candidates when it comes to public education: McAuliffe wants to “invest $2 billion in education, raise teacher pay, expand pre-K programs and invest in broadband access for students.” Mr. Youngkin doesn’t want to talk about those substantive issues. Instead he’d rather talk about bogus topics like “banning CRT”, the “freedom” to infect classmates and teachers by not wearing masks, and the “freedom” for parents to choose what teachers teach.

Should Mr. Youngkin get elected, expect endless debates over book-banning, mask-wearing… and budget cuts… the privatizers can hardly wait!

The Nationalization of Local School Board Races Continues: Parents Need to Pay Attention

September 7, 2021 Comments off

As noted in earlier posts, well heeled conservative activists are interested in seizing power at all levels of government… including the school board level. As this NBC report indicates, dark money is behind over 150 “parent organizations” designed to bring hot button faux issues like the instruction of CRT and debates over masking to the forefront in local school district elections. Parents and voters who value local control of their schools should pay close attention to the candidates who are running for seats in their local elections, for if they are part of the Trump wing of the party they are also part of the privatization movement. The REAL reason for questioning curriculum and mask policies is not to make local schools better: it’s to erode public confidence in the government and thereby open the door to privatization through vouchers. If anything, union leader Randi Weingarten understates the danger in this quote:

“It’s about constant destabilization, creating anger, exploiting the anxiety that people have right now,” she said. “it is also kind of rooted in the destabilization of the institutions in America that have, you know, long been used to unify the country. Like great neighborhood public schools.”

Look carefully at each and every race this cycle and make sure none of these anti-democracy candidates are elected.

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Categories: Essays Tags: ,

All the News Just Repeats Itself… Like Some Forgotten Dream… That We’ve All Seen

August 13, 2021 Comments off

This paraphrase from John Prine’s “Hello in There” captures my feelings when I read articles like Common Dream’s Brett Wilkins’ on how the Koch network has infiltrated public education and undercut its mission and its funding. I’ve been writing this blog for nearly ten years and in that time frame hoped that as the general public became aware of how power hungry, anti-democratic, and avaricious billionaires like the Koch brothers hoped to take over public education and destroy the opportunity for children born into poverty that things might change. Alas, the findings in the study Mr. Wilkins writes about are no different now than they would have been 10 years ago… and until there is some kind of awakening we will continue to see the erosion of public education as it is privatized.