The Walton Family Foundation announced that it plans to spend $1 billion over the next five years to increase the number of privately managed charter schools. If experience is any guide, almost all of these will be non-union. This was reported by politico pro, which is behind a paywall (I inquired, and it costs $3,500 to gain access). The emphasis in this massive spending will be startups.
“Just as we were in 1997 with our first charter grants, we are inspired by the ideas and passion of our startup grantees, and we’re determined to do all we can to help them succeed. I’d like to wish you, your teams and all of the students and communities we serve a 2016 of progress and accomplishment,” Marc Sternberg, director of the foundation’s K12 program, wrote in a letter to stakeholders obtained by POLITICO.
The Bentonville, Arkansas,-based foundation is run by the family of Walmart founders Sam and Helen Walton and is a frequent target of teachers unions for its promotion of school choice efforts, including research. Since 1997, it has poured more than $385 million in 2,110 new public charter schools – or about a quarter of all charters nationally, the foundation said.
Imagine that! The Walton Family Foundation, which was created by the billions earned by Walmart, is anti-union. Walmart does not have unions. It has fought unionization and had to be pushed kicking and screaming to agree to pay minimum wages, eventually. Every member of the Walton family is a billionaire. Now, why would unions not like the Walton family? Anyone? This is a family that enjoys the wealth created by the sweat of others who are not paid a living wage. Do the Waltons sleep well at night?
The Walton family represents the face of rapacious avarice in modern America. Having made their billions, they now use them to destroy the one basic democratic institution on which generations of Americans have relied for the education of their children: The American public schools. They will use their billions to divide communities and to turn citizens into consumers. That’s the Walmart way.