To understand the charter industry, you must appreciate that it is driven by extremely wealthy people and has no grassroots. It has mastered the arts of marketing and branding, but does not have a plan to improve education other than to draw students and resources away from public education, which belongs to all of us.

People often ask me, “Why do the super-rich cluster to the cause of privatization?” The Answer is not simple because many different motives are at work. Some see giving to charters as a charitable endeavor, and their friends assure them that they are “giving back,” helping poor children escape poverty. Others want to impress their friends in their social strata, their colleagues in the world of high finance. Being a supporter of charter schools is like belonging to the right clubs, going to the right parties, sharing a cause with other very rich people.

Perhaps infamous pedophile Jeffrey Epstein fits into the last category. Perhaps he fits into all those categories.  He is a man who grew up in modest circumstances in Brooklyn, attended public schools, and owed his start in life to the New York City public schools.

But once he achieved wealth and could call himself a “philanthropist,” he realized that choosing the right causes was important as a way of burnishing his image, showing that he was running with the In Crowd.

So, of course, he announced that he supported charter schools, not the public schools to which he owed a debt for launching him in life.

In 2013, his foundation issued a press release announcing that he looked forward to the dominance of charter schools in Washington, D.C. and predicted that they would succeed because they were unregulated. That, in a sense, was his own secret: he succeeded because he was unregulated, neither his appetites nor his activities were regulated. Supporting charter schools showed that he moved in the circles of the DFER elites, the hedge fund kings. No longer was he the boy from Lafayette High School in Brooklyn; he was a philanthropist encouraging the growth of school privatization, not just as competition but as a replacement for public schools.

Now that he has been indicted yet again, this time in New York, for his crimes against young girls, it is interesting to read his fulsome self-praise for investing in the charter industry.

This press release was issued by the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation:

NEW YORK, Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — For the first time, more students in Washington DCenrolled into charter schools than public schools. Last year, charters had an 11% increase in student enrollment, while public schools had a 1% increase. Mayor Vince Gray noted that the nation’s capital is only a few years away from being evenly split between the two school systems.

The shift was welcomed by financier and well-known education philanthropist, Jeffrey Epstein and his foundation, the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation. Jeffrey Epstein founded the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University with a $30 million dollar grant in 2003 and has since expanded his support into early development, Head Start and charter school programs across the nation, including Washington DC.

Some of the charter schools that the Jeffrey Epstein has supported include, Harlem Link Charter School, the Maya Angelou Schools in DC and the Bard High School Early College in New York. “Charter Schools have the freedom to self-regulate. It’s a critical component of their success. They also reduce the burden on the public school system,” Jeffrey Epstein asserted.

In fact, last year, the DC Schools Chancellor, Kaya Henderson, decided to close fifteen public schools due to the shift to charters.

Despite this growth, there is concern about the number of charter schools that close every year. According to The Center for Education Reform, 15% of charters close every year. However Jeanne Allen, President of the Center for Education Reform explained that unlike the public school system, this closure rate reflects a healthy level of accountability. Today 41 states have charter school laws and audit requirements. 52% of charter schools are also now authorized by school districts and 48% independently.

“We need to enhance state standards of excellence,” Jeffrey Epstein noted. “But it’s essential that these laws are just that, standards, and not management policies.”

Jeffrey Epstein is a trustee of the Institute for International Education, a former board member of Rockefeller University, the Council of Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, New York Academy of Science and sits on the board of the Mind, Brain and Behavior committee at Harvard.