Every day it seems like there is another headline about waste, fraud and abuse in for-profit charter schools across the country. Too many school districts lack the resources or political will to properly oversee a rapidly growing number of charter schools which, according to a recent report, led to at least $200 million in misspent taxpayer funds. All of this bad press should be enough to make even the most ardent supporters of charters welcome robust oversight and accountability.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. ITPI and the American Federation of Teachers just published Brought to you by Wal-Mart, a new report showing how The Walton Family Foundation (WFF) set the stage for the current spate of fraud in the industry. For over 20 years the foundation operated by Wal-Mart heirs has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the growth of charter schools and prioritized quantity over quality and ideology over good public policy. As you can read in the report, the Walton Family Foundation and groups it donates to have opposed common-sense regulations that ensure charter schools are serving students’ best interests.
Now, you can ask the Walton Family Foundation to adopt a set of standards that ensure charter schools operate with integrity and guarantee a high quality education for every child.
Earlier this year, In the Public Interest and Center for Popular Democracy created the Charter School Accountability Agenda, an 11-point package of common sense reforms. Years of studying the data and reading the headlines about privatization makes one thing clear: when ideology is more important than good public policy, our communities pay the price. Precious taxpayer resources are wasted, embezzled or misspent while we are told we can’t afford the services we need to adequately educate the next generation of Americans.
Click here to add your voice to the thousands of Americans asking The Walton Family Foundation and all of its grantees to support the Charter School Accountability Agenda to ensure charter school operators put our kids first.