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Friday, January 4, 2019

Walmart Heirs Invest Heavily to Promote Charter Schools | janresseger

Walmart Heirs Invest Heavily to Promote Charter Schools | janresseger

Walmart Heirs Invest Heavily to Promote Charter Schools

Twas the night before Christmas, and if you were reading the newspaper, you may have noticed some coverage of school privatization.  In case you missed it, please read Sally Ho’s article for the Associated Press on the Walton family’s financial investment in promoting charter schools in African American communities.
Ho describes how the Waltons have been investing to swing a contentious debate about the implications of growing school privatization: “Charter schools, which are publicly funded and privately operated, are often located in urban areas with large black populations, intended as alternatives to struggling city schools.  Black enrollment in charters has doubled over the course of a decade, to more than 760,000 students as of 2015-16… but the rise also has been marked by concerns about racial segregation, inconsistent student outcomes, and the hollowing-out of neighborhood public schools.  While some black leaders see charters as a safer, better alternative in their communities, a deep rift of opinion was exposed by a 2016 call for a moratorium on charters by the NAACP, a longtime skeptic that expressed concerns about school privatization, transparency and accountability issues. The Black Lives Matter movement is also among those that have demanded charter school growth be curbed.”

Ho reports that pro-charter Walton money has flowed to organizations like the United Negro College Fund for scholarships for students who want to pursue education “reform,” to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to sponsor events, and to 100 Black Men of America and the National Urban League for support of charter schools.  Walton money also paid for a luncheon at a conference of the National Association of Black Journalists, a luncheon featuring a panel of Walton pro-charter grantees.
Walton money has underwritten local efforts as well, including transporting three busloads of charter school supporters from Memphis to protest at a Cincinnati meeting of the NAACP, where the agenda focused on the NAACP’s 2016 resolution to press for a moratorium on new charter schools.
At the local level this year the Waltons are also bankrolling political candidates. The Chicago Sun-Times followed up the day after Christmas with an in-depth report on Walton money CONTINUE READING: Walmart Heirs Invest Heavily to Promote Charter Schools | janresseger