It seems we are up in arms about schools being forced open by Trump, Abbott, etc. As Betsy DeVos puts it, they must be fully opened–no part-time schools, etc. And Trump threatens to cut federal funding to schools that don’t follow his COVID-spreading rules.
This isn’t just about making kids, teachers, staff, and parents sick with COVID-19. It’s about destroying public schools. Just a guess, but I’d figure it would go something like this:
- Trump/Abbott will force open schools or lose funding.
- Parents/staff/teachers say NO.
- Parents find online privately-run (and corporate charter) school companies to homeschool their kids because of Trump’s threat against public schools.
- Trump cuts funding to public schools because of lack of attendance.
- Trump offers Dept of Education money to corporations who will operate private/charter schools to run low-quality diploma mills.
- Trump doles out federal tax money to parents in the form of vouchers to “send kids to private school,” but in reality, it’s for these low-quality privately-run diploma factories that Betsy DeVos’ friends will open because high-quality private schools aren’t going to be expanding their attendance for every Black and Brown kid in America.
- Public education as we know it is destroyed in the name of profits for a few. And considering that the vast majority of K-12 public students are Black and Brown, one can see this was the intent all along.
What really sucks is that this will look like some sort of CARES Act type of thing where parents will be offered a nice-sized check, yet, it’s Trump’s corporate friends who will get the billions of dollars in the end.
Unfortunately, too many people will not want to say no to a big check. Cash is always useful when families are in a hurting situation. Those who are of means will just get a boost to help pay for actual private school tuition (and family vacations). But when the vast majority of students are in public schools, we should invest in online infrastructures for online/hybrid education in the public realm, instead of giving away money to Trump’s friends.
So, while people, teachers, staffers, and parents will be worried about the pandemic and risks of illness, we also need to be worried about the bigger picture that will bankrupt public education. It has always been the goal of Republicans to destroy public education, whether it is through vouchers, the myth of school choice, or the creation of corporate-run charter schools under the guise of them being “public.” And, let’s face it, we have a few Democrats who spout the charter school and “education reform” BS quite well, too, and are as much at fault for opening this door for Trump and DeVos.
Fight back! Even in Tuesday’s run-off, vote for those with a record of protecting teachers, students, and public schools.