Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Repug Tax Bill Guts Public Schools

Among the many public-good victims of the repug Shove Middle Class Money Down the Throats of the Obscenely Wealthy is the long-standing target of repug fuckery: Public Education.

Budget cuts for public schools but giant tax cuts for private schools, including religious schools.  This is pretty much precisely the opposite of the Constitutional "general welfare" clause and the Establishment Clause. Not to mention a compete reversal of the free public education system that created America's economic powerhouse and global leadership.

And the cherry on top of this shit souffle is that these soon-to-be-even richer charter schools are increasing segregation to the level of slavery days.


That excellent sentence is from this fine Andre Perry piece on the connection between charter schools and continued de facto school segregation. The reality is that charter schools, private schools, and people who move to the suburbs for “better schools” that are almost always whiter schools are reinforcing what Brown v. Board of Education tried to take down. The nation’s schools never desegregated. After the government forced Little Rock to desegregate in 1957, leading to the legendary battle at Central High School, the city simply closed all its public schools the next year. Not surprisingly, the rise of often Christian private schools coincided almost precisely with the courts getting involved in desegregation. Also not surprisingly, this occurred at the same time that white people began fleeing to the suburbs. Despite such efforts as busing, schools have remained largely segregated to the present. Any fight for racial justice must also be a fight for integrated schools. Charter schools are just making this worse. This is a legacy of slavery and white supremacy, topics the white people nation hasn’t even begun to tackle seriously.

You will not be surprised that Jonathan Chait, Rheeist charter school shill and husband of a leading charter school advocate, doesn’t care about any of this and instead thinks that charter schools will solve these problems. He is wrong, as the research not developed by fellow charter school shills, consistently demonstrates.

If you want better schools, you do so by fighting poverty. If you want to fight poverty, you have to fight racism. There is no other solution. Anti-union privatizers seeking to make a buck off education certainly are no solution. And in any case, actual real life desegregation needs to be a goal that we must strive for. It’s not as if it is impossible.
Charlie Pierce brings it home:
Very often, people who express doubts about the value of public charter schools are criticized for being unsympathetic to minority and poor students that these schools allegedly are designed to help. (That the charter movement is awash in fraud and deceit, to say nothing of educational and disciplinary policies that wouldn’t be out of place in Tom Brown’s School Days, is another issue entirely.) The Associated Press went out and discovered that, for one reason or another, if you’re nostalgic for the days of racially segregated education, charter schools can deliver the goods there, too.

Public education, embattled though it is, and as disrespected by this administration* as it ever has been by any administration, remains one of the most fundamental American ideas that Americans ever had. Looked at honestly, and over the span of centuries, it may be among the most lasting contributions this country has made to civilization. It deserves better than what it’s getting. It deserves honesty.
Charter schools are now legal in Kentucky, although supposedly only "public" ones.  I give the corporatists and the freakazoids until the end of the General Assembly in April to grab for themselves the last pennies still funding public schools.

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