Are Trump and Betsy DeVos at odds over online schooling?

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Koch-backed group releases pandemic playbook. A group funded by the billionaire libertarian Charles Koch has released a playbook for reopening schools called “Opportunity in Crisis.” Yes Every Kid (which has yet to finish its website’s “About” page, despite launching in June 2019), recommends pivoting to virtual instruction, using “public and private programs” to bridge the digital divide, removing “arbitrary” teacher licensure requirements, and more. Yes Every Kid (h/t Jennifer Berkshire)

Meanwhile, President Trump and billionaire Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are sending mixed signals about the future of public education. “Now that we have witnessed it on a large scale basis, and firsthand, Virtual Learning has proven to be TERRIBLE compared to In School, or On Campus, Learning,” Trump said in a tweet last week.

Yet, in 2018, DeVos mused, “Why do students have to go to a school building in the first place?” Politico

Hundreds of thousands of teachers, students, and parents demand no in-person schooling, police-free schools, and more. The Chicago Teachers Union, United Teachers of Los Angeles, Center for Popular Democracy, Journey for Justice, and many other organizations are preparing for a National Day of Resistance for safe, healthy, and equitable schools.

Demands include no in-person schooling until the scientific and public health data supports it, police-free schools, a moratorium on new charter school or voucher programs, and much more. Demand Safe Schools

LA charter school exec pleads guilty. The former executive director of a Los Angeles charter school operator has agreed to plead guilty to embezzling $3.1 million in school funds that she spent on her personal use, including Disney cruises and theme park admissions. Los Angeles Times

More coronavirus aid given to charter schools. Private and charter schools in Washington State’s Pierce County were some of the largest local recipients in federal Paycheck Protection Program funding meant for small businesses, with schools being awarded at least $10 million. The News Tribune

Charter schools are bad for Catholic schools? The rightwing, “free-market” think tank Manhattan Institute zeroes in on how charter schools have “[squeezed out] urban Catholic schools that had long been the best (and often only) alternative to failing public schools for disadvantaged kids.” City Journal