As the free market fairy tale goes, innovative charter schools force neighborhood schools to improve education, while schools that can’t compete eventually close. Parents are “customers” that need more “school choice,” and when a school fails, students simply find another.
When the Great Public Schools Now Initiative, the $490 million blueprint to turn half of Los Angeles’ public school system into charter schools, was first leaked to Los Angeles Times reporter Howard Blume, it triggered an uproar among the city’s education community.
Charter proponents, most notably the Walton Family Foundation, contribute large amounts of money to expand charter schools in select cities around the nation.
Last September’s sensational leak of the Great Public Schools Now Initiative, a half-billion-dollar plan to double the number of charter schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), sparked a firestorm of controversy.
Last month, the Los Angeles Times released a terrifying confidential roadmap for privatizing L.A.’s schools that was produced by billionaire Eli Broad. Broad plans to raise and spend $490 million to create enough privately operated charter schools to house half of the city’s public school students.
The “Broad Plan” is an ambitious, all-sided assault on public schools, potentially funded by money from a who’s who of the nation’s billionaires, including the Walton heirs, Elon Musk, and Steven Spielberg.
Broad’s strategy is to compete directly with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for what he calls “market share,” by more than doubling the number of charters already in the city. Diane Ravitch writes that Broad wants to “decimate the remaining public schools by draining them of students and resources.” Former LAUSD board president and state Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg calls it a plan to “privatize and destroy public education.”
Just imagine what these resources—which are in the Broad Plan budget—could do for L.A.’s existing public schools: