Don't privatize (
by Steve Timmer
Feb 17, 2014, 3:00 PM

How did this happen?

In Whatever’s wrong . . . , I suggested to Mayor Chris Coleman — who’s urging the teachers not to strike — to look at staffing levels for teachers, nurses, counselors and librarians and ask, “How did this happen?”

keillor on vandals

Here’s a hint, Mr. Mayor:

Perhaps some people like it that way. It furthers the school privatization agenda. The more chaos and the less learning in public schools the better, because it will drive parents away from the public schools and into the arms of the charters, who will take the same tax dollars, deliver a poorer and narrower education, and pocket a profit.

It’s the American way these days:

Forbes notes: “The charter school movement began as a grassroots attempt to improve public education. It’s quickly becoming a backdoor for corporate profit.” A McKinsey report estimates that education can be a $1.1 trillion business in the United States. Meanwhile, state educational funding continues to be cut, and budget imbalances are worsened by the transfer of public tax money to charter schools.

Education funding continues to be cut largely because corporations aren’t paying their state taxes.

So philanthropists [?] like Bill Gates and Eli Broad and Michael Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch and Jeff Bezos and the Walton family, who have little educational experience among them, and who have little accountability to the public, are riding the free-market wave and promoting “education reform” with lots of standardized testing.

Eli Broad? Well, never mind.

We already have private prisons that lobby for laws to keep them full, privatized parking meters in Chicago, and private municipal sewer and water utilities around the country. All brought to you by politicians who would rather light their underwear on fire than champion the public good and raise the necessary taxes to finance it.

You can only go so far in hollowing out the public sphere, though, in places like Chicago, or St. Paul or Minneapolis, without the whole burg collapsing like a scene in Paint Your Wagon.

It’s only a 45 minute drive to some segregated drill-and-kill charter school, said no MLS listing ever.

Wise city politicians are rock solid supporters of public schools because they understand they are key to the stability of the community. Small town mayors fight tooth and nail to keep their high school from being consolidated out of town.

Readers here know I don’t talk about myself much on the website. I am going to make an exception today. As some of you know, I live in a much-derided and mocked — I do it myself once in a while — suburb. If you ask people who moved here recently why they did, though, zero out of a hundred will say it is because of the proximity to Southdale or 50th and France.

You already know what they all say.

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