Jersey Jazzman reports that New Jersey will not approve the state’s first online for-profit virtual charter school. K12 has been told to come back next year, perhaps on the hope that citizen outrage will have died down by then. Jersey Jazzman, you may recall, memorably referred to New Jersey as “the cesspool of school reform.”
This is a big win. The most important message here is that citizens make a difference when they organize and speak up against politically powerful forces who are trying to grab taxpayer money and call it “reform.”
This is two wins in a row against the K12 giant, first in North Carolina, where the school boards banded together to stop the raid on their own strained budgets, and now in New Jersey, where concerned parents and educators blew the whistle.
It’s important to remind everyone that the reformers are vulnerable. They are vulnerable to public exposure because the fact is that their harmful ideas have no public support once the public understands what they are up to. There is no public support for handing taxpayer dollars over to corporate interests and calling it “reform.”
The public loves its community schools and doesn’t want to see them impoverished by corporate raiders.
So, yes, learn from New Jersey. Learn from the parents of Florida, who stopped the fake “parent trigger” legislation. Learn from the school boards of North Carolina.
You are not alone. Work in coalition with others to understand the theft of public education that is underway. You can make a difference.