Education writer Jeff Bryant writes about how Betsy DeVos is using the COVID-19 pandemic to advance her school privatization agenda.
COVID-19 has shuttered public schools across the nation, state governments are threatening to slash education budgets due to the economic collapse caused by the outbreak. But the charter school industry may benefit from its unique status to seek public funding from multiple sources and expand these schools into many more communities traumatized by the pandemic and financial fallout. As school districts reported huge problems with converting classroom learning into online instruction delivered to students’ homes, often due to lack of funding, charter operators rolled out new marketing campaigns to lure families to enroll in their schools. Teachers have urged their districts to stop charter school expansions and co-locations, which they believe worsen the trauma that children in their communities are experiencing due to the virus. But the Trump administration and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have shown no signs of easing up their campaigns to further privatize public schools. “This is an opportunity,” said DeVos in an interview with right-wing radio talk show host Glenn Beck, “to collectively look very seriously at the fact that K-12 education for too long has been very static and very stuck in one method of delivering and making instruction available.”
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