Waltons Will Spend More to Privatize Public Education

The Walton Foundation likes vouchers and charters. It does not like public schools.

Last year, it spend $159 million to promote vouchers and charters.

In addition, members of the billionaire family have dumped a few million here and there into political campaigns, like the Georgia referendum to allow the governor to create charters despite the opposition of the local school board, or the Washington State referendum to allow charters in that state.

Now the Walton Foundation plans to expand. As a local Arkansas blogger puts it, “Wow, when the Walton family — which has put more than $1 billion into “education reform” through its foundation and spent untold millions more in separate political activties — indicates it’s going to increase its political effort it’s time for political opponents to build a bomb shelter.”

It is important that when the Walton Foundation says “education reform,” what they really mean is privatizing public education, getting rid of local school boards, and allowing for-profit corporations to run your neighborhood school.

Sort of like Walmart. When they come into your local region, the mom-and-pop stores go out of business, and the Waltons own everything. If they don’t make enough money, they leave, and your town has a lot of empty stores on Main Street.

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Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. She serves on the board of the Core Knowledge Foundation, Common Core, the Albert Shanker Institute of the American Federation of Teachers, and Common Good. She is an honorary life trustee of the New York Public Library and a former Guggenheim Fellow. From 1991 to 1993, she served as the United States Assistant Secretary of Education, and from 1997 to 2004, she was a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress.  Find Diane Ravitch's blogs at dianeravitch.net and at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/.