Hakeem Jeffries from Brooklyn is one of the leaders of the Democratic Party in Congress. He is considering a bid to be chair of the Democratic Caucus.

On September 13, he was honored by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and received its first “African American Charter School Leadership Award.” The event is referred to in the official invitation as #BringTheFunk. The award noted that he is a “faithful supporter” of New York City’s Success Academy charter chain, a favorite of the hedge fund industry, which may well be the best funded charter chain in the nation, known for its strict discipline, its high test scores, and its high attrition rates.

The event was sponsored by the rightwing, anti-union Walton Family Foundation, Campbell Brown’s “The 74,” and Education Reform Now. Campbell Brown is a close friend of Betsy DeVos; Education Reform Now is affiliated with Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), the hedge funders’ organization. Education Reform Now and DFER exist to promote charter schools.

Like so many privately managed charter schools, the new award is segregated, for blacks only.

To understand why Congress is paying $440 million a year for new charter schools, even when there is no need for funding for new charter schools, even though they are amply funded by philanthropists and billionaires, even though they draw funding away from public schools, even though the federal General Accountability Office found that they are rife with waste, fraud, and abuse, even though charter school scandals are increasingly common, even though the NAACP called for a national moratorium on new charter schools, start here.