Mercedes Schneider writes here about Betsy DeVos and her not-innovative idea of a “backpack full of cash.”

Betsy used the metaphor to refer snidely to a disguised voucher. It is a common metaphor among rightwing advocates of privatization. Betsy didn’t realize she was using the title of a popular documentary, shown in hundreds of communities across the country as a warning about privatization.

(If you want to book a screening of Backpack Full of Cash, go to the website.)

The film-makers, Sarah Mondale and Vera Aronow, borrowed the term from choice advocate Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform, who has dreamed for years about defunding public schools by strapping the child’s cash in a backpack and sending the child to a charter school, religious school, cyber charter or home school, the less regulated the better. Anything will do for the backpack of cash except a public school.

Betsy didn’t know the etymology of the term but loved the idea of taking money away from public schools and giving it to any entrepreneur or grifter who wanted it.

Read the post to learn the not-sad fate of the rightwing’s favorite bad idea.