Disaster capitalism strikes again! A victory for rapacious billionaires, Betsy DeVos, and DFER. Instead of putting the PR economy on a path to recovery, the disaster capitalists will give them charters and vouchers.

The following is a jubilant press release from the rightwing group “Center for Education Reform,” which despises public schools:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
(202) 750-0016 | news@edreform.com

PR Supreme Court Confirms: Education Opportunity Constitutional

[Washington, D.C., August 10, 2018—] Students and families of Puerto Rico were given a major victory today when the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico ruled that new education opportunities are constitutional and dismissed the island’s teachers’ union’s challenge to the new education reform law enacted on March 29, 2018, which provided for a path for charter schools and scholarships for students to attend private schools.

“Today’s decision paves the way for what has become an unprecedented island-wide coalition to drive educational excellence, comprising leaders in government, business, higher education, ed tech, and civic groups like the Boys & Girls Club,” said Jeanne Allen, Founder and CEO, Center for Education Reform. “As we have seen throughout the US, such efforts produce exceptional results and provide new and meaningful pathways for children trapped in failing schools,” Allen added.

Math proficiency for Puerto Rico stands at 33%, while only 10% of students in grades 7, 8 and 11 were able to pass standardized tests last year. Although it’s their native language, only 49 percent of students achieved proficiency in Spanish last year. Knowing the value of educational freedom, parents began to exit the state for Florida and beyond even before Hurricane Maria. The Education Secretary Julia Kelleher moved to close schools based on these migrations and failing education and the new law was a bi-partisan response to institute more accountability and inevitably more options for students and families, but it was in jeopardy when the unions filed suit. The teachers unions also were pushed to strike by the US head of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, whose now infamous conversation on an Amtrak train plotting the strike was widely reported.

The Supreme Court overruled a highly political ruling by a Superior Court Judge who claimed that the Puerto Rico Education Reform act violates the territory’s Constitution.
“We knew after the first ruling against educational options that the Superior Court’s decision had no grounding in constitutional law,” said Allen, “as precedents have shown time and time again. We congratulate the leaders of Puerto Rico and hope this sends a signal to the establishment that nothing can stand in the way of educational achievement.”