Online K-12 education companies during coronavirus are “like coke dealers handing out free samples”

Welcome to Cashing in on Kids, a newsletter for people who think public education should be truly, absolutely, authentically public—produced by In the Public Interest.

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Disrupting public education in a time of crisis. NewSchools Venture Fund, a pro-privatization, anti-teacher nonprofit, has compiled a list of free tools and products for “those navigating the changing K-12 education environment due to COVID-19.”

While many educators are struggling to adapt to online schooling, one has to wonder whether the corporations on the list, especially the likes of Google and Comcast, don’t see this as an opportunity to make inroads on over $700 billion in public dollars spent on public education each year. NewSchools has received funding from the Walton Family Foundation, the Bezos Family Foundation, and other wealthy donors. NewSchools Venture Fund

As political economist Gordon Lafer recently said, “It’s like coke dealers handing out free samples.” What strings are attached? How much public money will end up in the hands of wealthy investors? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, In the Public Interest has “11 warning signs that someone is trying to privatize your public school.” Also, Teaching for Change has compiled a list of resources for virtual social justice teaching.

Help us #ThankATeacher this #TeacherAppreciationWeek. Yes, it’s #TeacherAppreciationWeek, and we should be thanking teachers. But when public schools reopen, let’s thank teachers by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Public schools needed more resources even before this crisis. Share on Facebook

“‘Coronavirus Capitalism’ Is Coming for Public Schools.” Writer and founding member of Parents Across America Dora Taylor writes, “Relinquishing the public’s right to scrutinize how its money is being spent has become common in school districts across the country, as democratically elected officials facing an emergency have loosened, to varying degrees, the reins controlling how school leaders conduct business.” The Progressive

Tell Congress to stop DeVos from using emergency funds to promote privatization. The Network for Public Education (NPE) has launched a letter campaign to tell Congress to stop Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos from using CARES Act funding to advance her privatization agenda. Network for Public Education

Online K-12 education during the coronavirus, explained. In the Public Interest has produced a how-to for journalists covering online K-12 education during the coronavirus crisis. In the Public Interest. In the Public Interest

Elite prep schools vie for public dollars. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has ordered elite, private preparatory schools to return loans intended to help small businesses pay employees during the coronavirus pandemic. But some are resisting. The New York Times