Heads up, fellow Dems: Republicans love to talk about “revolution” when they’re out of power — and they exploit it to leverage discontent at every opportunity.
Privatizing public schools is a great opportunity.
Today I got an invitation to join a new front group, “Parent Revolution,” asking me to grab a torch and pitchfork and get busy on Los Angeles schools:
Together, we will seize this moment, drag the LAUSD kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, and make our public schools work once again for the parents and kids of Los Angeles.
You’d never guess that this is bankrolled by Republicans, would you?
Well, look out. Underneath the Orwellian front groups that are out to trick parents into supporting their “revolution,” this is all about privatization via charter schools. There are untold billions of dollars at stake.
You’ll see. Just look behind the front groups.
shill executive director of this effort is a well-known hack consultant who plays both sides, Republican and Democratic, Ben Austin. In his front group pitch, he fails to mention the fact that he’s been on the payroll for Green Dot Charter Schools for a long time. Before that, he worked for L.A.’s Republican Mayor Dick Riordan, another privatization moneybags, and he’s been carrying water for privatizing L.A. schools for a long time now.
The hook is this seemingly democratic appeal:
Watch our video to find out how you can transform your child’s school by getting 51% of parents at your school to sign the petition. If 51% of the parents at your school sign the petition demanding a better school, we will guarantee your child a great school, in your neighborhood, within three years.
Why 51%? Well, that’s the magic number in LAUSD if you want to privatize a public school with a charter.
Ben’s boss is, among others, Green Dot Charter Schools, bankrolled by Republican developer Eli Broad and bearded by “non-profit” status.
Who else is paying for this “revolution”? Mostly Republicans, of course. And anyone else who wants to make a buck off of public funds in education.
They’re counting on people not looking too closely behind the curtain:
WHO WE ARE
The Parent Revolution was started by a coalition of organizations, led by the Los Angeles Parents Union. Other members include Green Dot Public Schools, Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, Brightstar, and others.
2) Chairman of the board of the “Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools” is Frank E. Baxter, one of the biggest Republican donors in California.
3) Steve Barr, the Chairman of the Board of Green Dot, has used the charter schools to drive a wedge into the LA teacher’s union. Union-busting wolf in sheep’s clothing? Something like that. He’s deeply involved with Republican privatization front-group Democrats For Education Reform. More Green Dots — and more freedom to put the public dime in private hands– is what his work is all about.
Heads up, folks.
Front groups and buzz words can go a long way towards obscuring the real Republican agenda of privatization.
Please deconstruct — and expose — other efforts whenever you find them!
[Cross-posted at DailyKos.]