Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Walton Foundation pours $250 million more into charter schools, including Little Rock

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM

The Walton Family Foundation announced today that it was going to contribute $250 million to help charter schools in 17 cities around the country, including Little Rock, with facility construction.

The idea is to make it even easier and more attractive for charter schools to lure students away from conventional public school districts.

The news release doesn't identify specific recipients of money, but the Waltons have put money in virtually every charter school in Little Rock. A corporation with the same mailing address as Walton enterprises recently purchased the former Lutheran school on West Markham for a new location for Little Rock Prep, a charter school that to date has experience low academic performance and sketchy finances. Despite its track record, the state officials that oversee charter schools have endorsed its continued operation and move to bigger facilities, even as the department moved to take over the Little Rock School District for low scores by six of 48 district schools.  Walton money also came in to save a speedy opening of the Quest Charter Middle School in Chenal Valley, which attracted a mostly white and higher income student body as an alternative to the closest middle school, virtually all black and low-income.

Recent analysis shows charter schools in Little Rock generally have not outperformed conventional public schools in growing the performance of poor and minority children.

Most states, including Arkansas, don't provide money for charter facilities, through some small programs are anticipated in the next budget year.

The multi-billion-dollar foundation will provide money to nonprofit lenders to make loans that conventional lenders are sometimes unwilling to make. The Waltons will partner with the nonprofit Civic Builders to manage the so-called Building Equity Initiative.

eStem, with a massive expansion plan to add two campuses to its existing campus at Third and Louisiana, is one obvious potential recipient of Walton money for facilities. It has received Walton backing from its inception.

There's plenty more money where this came from, of course.

If Walton ally Johnny Key's Education Department continues to hollow out local school districts with charter school expansions, there will be abundant empty school buildings for the charter schools to take over for their expansion.

PS: Those failed Detroit charter schools I mentioned this morning? Surely they need more money. Because being a charter means never being held accountable, never having to say you're sorry.

Diane Ravitch calls the Waltons' latest "doubling down on failure."

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (18)

Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • After the storm open line

    Flooding remains after a deadly storm that left damage over much of Arkansas. An open line for Sunday evening.
    • Apr 30, 2017
  • LR City Board talks about crime and gang violence

    Police Chief Kenton Buckner talked to the Little Rock City Board this afternoon at a special meeting about violent crime and the role being played by gang activities. The police can do more — and will, he said. But police alone are not the solution for problems besetting the most crime-prone neighborhoods.
    • Apr 30, 2017
  • Opponents of Little Rock school tax say construction possible without new taxes

    Opponents of an extension of 12.4 millions in Little Rock School District property taxes at a cost of $600 million or more say critical construction needs in the district can be made without a bond issue that lines the pockets of bond firms and lawyers.
    • Apr 30, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • 2nd guilty plea in bribery case over state mental health services

    Arkansas Business reports here on a federal court filing Wednesday that shows a second person has pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme to help a major contractor of the state Department of Human Services.
    • Sep 17, 2015
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Democrats name new House minority leader

    Rep. Michael John Gray of Augusta has been elected leader of the House Democratic Caucus, the minority party. He succeeds Rep. Eddie Armstrong of North Little Rock. He's a farmer and small business owner.
    • Sep 25, 2015

Most Shared

  • Workers stiffed

    How is it going with the great experiment to make the Republican Party the champion of the sons and daughters of toil instead of the oligarchs of wealth and business?
  • O'Reilly's fall

    Whom the gods would destroy, they first make TV stars.

Visit Arkansas

Fishing the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Fishing the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Arkansas angler and fishing expert Billy Murray shares his extensive knowledge of the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

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