Tuesday, September 6, 2016

OUTRAGE: How the DeVos Family Paid the Michigan GOP to Block Charter Accountability | Diane Ravitch's blog

OUTRAGE: How the DeVos Family Paid the Michigan GOP to Block Charter Accountability | Diane Ravitch's blog:

OUTRAGE: How the DeVos Family Paid the Michigan GOP to Block Charter Accountability

Image result for DeVos Family


kay, maybe you can’t be shocked anymore to learn that billionaires have bought politicians. Still, when you read this article in the Detroit Free Press, I think you will be as outraged as I was and am. The charter lobby has outdone itself this time. I haven’t paid as much attention to the DeVos family as I should have. Their fortune comes from Amway. Betsy DeVos started a privatization organization deceptively named the American Federation for Children. The family would like to replace public education altogether, preferably with vouchers. They are devotees of the free market ideology, though they are happy to have government subsidize the free market. One thing is clear: they despise public schools and will gladly reward legislators to agree with them.
This article was written by Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press. If the DeVos family and the Michigan GOP wanted to help the children of Detroit, would they insist on eliminating any accountability for charter schools?
Henderson writes:
“Bought and paid for.
“Back in June, that’s how I described the Detroit school legislation that passed in Lansing — a filthy, moneyed kiss to the charter school industry at the expense of the kids who’ve been victimized by those schools’ unaccountable inconsistency.
“And now, through the wonder of campaign finance reports, we are beginning to see what it took to buy the GOP majority in Lansing, just how much lawmakers required to sell out Detroit students’ interests.
“The DeVos family, owners of the largest charter lobbying organization, has showered Michigan Republican candidates and organizations with impressive and near-unprecedented amounts of money this campaign cycle: $1.45 million in June and July alone — over a seven-week period, an average of $25,000 a day.
“The giving began in earnest on June 13, just five days after Republican members of the state Senate reversed themselves on the question of whether Michigan charter schools need more oversight.
“There’s nothing more difficult than proving quid pro quos in politics, the instances in which favor is returned for specific monetary support.
“But look at the amounts involved, and consider the DeVos’ near-sole interest in the issue of school choice. It’s a fool’s errand to imagine a world in which the family’s deep pockets haven’t skewed the school debate to the favor of their highly financed lobby.
“And in this case, it was all done to the detriment of children in the City of Detroit.
“Deep pockets, long arms
“Back in March, the Senate voted to place charter schools under the same authority as public schools in the city, for quality control and attention to population need and balance, in line with a plan that had been in the works for more than a year, endorsed and promoted by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.
“But when the bills moved to the state House, lawmakers gutted that OUTRAGE: How the DeVos Family Paid the Michigan GOP to Block Charter Accountability | Diane Ravitch's blog:
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