Another publicly funded Florida private school fires teacher for being gay

Welcome to Cashing in on Kids, a newsletter for people fighting to stop the privatization of America’s public schools—produced by In the Public Interest.

Not a subscriber? Sign up. And make sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Another publicly funded Florida private school fires teacher for being gay. The firing of a sixth-grade history teacher in Florida has generated a controversy. Why? Because the teacher is gay, and the school—Forest Lake Education Center—receives more than $1 million in tax dollars and tax credits each year.

Steven Arauz is at least the second Florida teacher in a year to be fired for being gay by a private school receiving public money through the state’s voucher program. Last year, Toro Lisciandro was fired from Covenant Christian School immediately after confirming to the principle that she had a girlfriend. Orlando Sentinel

Privatized school buildings could be the future. Despite pushback, Maryland’s Prince George’s County has signed off on a plan to contract with private, for-profit companies to design, build, finance, and maintain six schools for 30 years at a cost of approximately $1.24 billion.

As In the Public Interest’s Jeremy Mohler asks, “Why is Prince George’s County rushing to become the first jurisdiction in the country to use a public-private partnership (i.e., private financing) to build public schools?” In the Public Interest

Texas is ground zero for the charter school industry. Diane Ravitch reports that “Texas is ground-zero for the charter industry right now. Betsy DeVos has given over $250 million to the IDEA charter chain (the one that wanted to lease a private jet for its executives), and she recently gave $100 million to the State Commissioner Mike Morath to expand charter schools.” Diane Ravitch’s Blog

Could Kentucky be next? Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited Kentucky Monday to ask “school choice” supporters to insist that state and federal policymakers back measures like charter schools and scholarship tax credits—especially during the pandemic.

Kentucky passed a charter school law in 2017 but has yet to provide state funding. Scholarship tax credits have also failed to gain traction in the state. WDRB

The pandemic is making already shady online charter schools even shadier. John Thompson, historian and retired teacher, writes about how the story of Epic Charter Schools siphoning public money to a private, for-profit corporation owned by the school’s co-founders is a cautionary tale when it comes to online charter schools during the pandemic. The Progressive

“Ed tech spending rampaging through North Carolina.” Former high school teacher Thomas Ultican documents North Carolina’s profligate spending on education technology for its public schools. Tultican