On the day before the vote on Betsy DeVos’s nomination, billionaire Eli Broad announced that he opposed her nomination to be Secretary of Education. It was a joke. He knew that his statement was meaningless and that she would be confirmed, but he was pretending to be a Democrat. The reality is that Broad and DeVos are on the same page when it comes to privatization. He is trying to grab control of half the children in Los Angeles for privately-run charter schools, and she approves. No doubt, she wishes California also had vouchers, because in her view, you can never have too much school choice. She and Broad consider local school boards a hindrance to their plans. Results don’t matter either. Nor does segregation. Choice over all.

In response to the unfettered expansion of charters–and to the ongoing financial scandals that crop up in this unregulated sector–several bills were introduced in the legislature to rein in the charters. One of them said that local school districts should make the final decision about whether to authorize new charters. Under current law, if the local school board says no, their decision may be reversed by the county board of education. If the county board of education says no, their decision may be reversed by the state board of education. If the governor is charter-friendly as Jerry Brown is, the state board can be counted on to say yes to almost any charter, no matter how much local opposition there is, and no matter how badly the new charter will damage existing public schools, skimming its students and sucking away resources.

So a bill was written–SB808– to give the local school boards the authority to block new charters that are neither needed nor wanted. The bill was supported by the California Teachers Association. It was opposed by the California Charter School Association, the lobbyists for the billionaires who love privatization.

The bill’s author just pulled it; it will not be introduced to the Senate Education Committee. The bill’s author, Democrat Tony Mendoza, met with charter school supporters last week and had second thoughts.

No doubt, Betsy DeVos is thrilled.

How many millions or billions will Eli Broad and his friends in the CCSA spend before they admit that all they accomplished was to destroy public education?

This will be Eli Broad’s legacy: not his museum; not the buildings where he has carved his name. But his destruction of public education in Los Angeles and across the state of California.