Thursday, July 24, 2014

Walton money supports group seeking vouchers for religious schools

Posted By on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 10:58 AM

The Walton heirs' direction of millions into "school reform" has focused most lately on support of charter schools and attacks on school unions. But they clearly retain hope for public support of religious schools through vouchers, a once unpopular idea that is gaining strength, as part of the "school choice" agenda.

More here from The Chronicle of Philanthropy on a particular Walton investment:

The Christian owners of retail giant Walmart have become the largest financial backers [$3.1 million] of Agudath Israel of America, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish network that shares the Walton family’s support for public funding of religious schools, according to The Jewish Daily Forward.

Rabbi Yehiel Kalish, liaison to the Waltons, puts the relationship bluntly to Daily Forward:

Kalish said that the Waltons are paying the Agudah to educate its ultra-Orthodox constituents on school reform issues, in the hopes that they will support Walton-backed groups working to pass school-choice legislation throughout the country.

Same approach the Waltons have taken with the Arkansas legislature.

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