Monday, October 22, 2012

The billionaire boys (and girl) club for charter schools

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 9:23 AM

CHARTER BACKER: Brother Jim Walton has been most identified with charter school backing in Arkansas. Alice Walton has spent heavily in Washington.
  • CHARTER BACKER: Brother Jim Walton has been most identified with charter school backing in Arkansas. Alice Walton has spent heavily in Washington.
The charter school movement in Arkansas and everywhere has been accurately characterized as the Billionaire Boys Club. In Arkansas, Walton, Murphy, Stephens and Hussman money is the motive power of legislation to bust what few unions remain in Arkansas classrooms and promote charter schools (backers need not be proven) and other forms of "choice," with vouchers the ultimate game.

But it probably should says Boys and Girls Club, too.

Here's a sharp illustration from Washington state, where an intitiative would allow expansion of charter schools. I have to laugh at the backers' claim of "stric accountability." That was promised in Arkansas, too. It has been somewhat more true in recent years, much to the unhappiness of the billionaires, who probably have ideas about ridding the state Education Department and its board of those who have insisted on accountability.

In any case, in Washington, 91 percent of the $8.9 million raised to promote the charter initiative came from just 10 people. (You have a spare $800,000, don't you?)

Although wealthy donors pour millions into Washington state ballot measures each election season, what's unusual about the charter school campaign is that it depends almost entirely on big-money contributions from donors with no obvious financial interest in the outcome. Bill Gates contributed $3 million, one-third of the overall campaign donations. Millions more came from Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, and Mike and Jackie Bezos, the parents of Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.

Tags: , ,

Favorite

Speaking of Charter Schools, Alice Walton

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Monticello preparing for KKK rally

    Drew County authorities are taking precautions, but also watching their words, about apparent plans for a Ku Klux Klan meeting Saturday.
    • Jul 22, 2015
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • In defense of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights

    An op-ed in today's New York Time by Katha Pollitt says what I've been struggling to say about the reaction to the attack on women's reproductive rights launched by means of the undercover videos made by anti-abortion activists.
    • Aug 5, 2015

Most Shared

  • Constituents go Cotton pickin' at Springdale town hall

    Sen. Tom Cotton, cordial to a fault, appeared before a capacity crowd at the 2,200 seat Pat Walker Performing Arts Center at Springdale High tonight to a mixed chorus of clapping and boos. Other than polite applause when he introduced his mom and dad and a still moment as he led the crowd in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance — his night didn't get much better from there.
  • Petition calls for Jason Rapert Sewage Tanks in Conway

    A tribute is proposed for Conway's state senator Jason Rapert: naming the city's sewage sludge tanks for him. Petitioners see a similarity.

Visit Arkansas

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation