Why are so many Republicans and billionaires pushing Question 2?*
Prof. Robert Weintraub at BU Today offers us more thoughtful context on Question 2. BMG readers, click the link and read the whole thing. There is a broader context for these ideas of denigrating public schools (it fits with Reagan’s denigration of the government), and there is a good explanation of the bad math behind saying that international test show US schools are worse than Singapore’s or China’s. But what really packs a punch is when we learn where all those district dollars end up after new charters schools open:
Perhaps the least known characteristic of charters is that our taxes are taken from our public schools and enrich private investors. Typically, charter schools operate as nonprofits. However, the buildings in which they operate are generally owned by private landlords who benefit financially from taxes that are transferred to the operation of charters.
David Brain, head of the large real estate investment firm Entertainment Properties Trust at the time, appeared on CNBC in 2012 to tell audiences just how lucrative charter school investment has become. In response to a question about the most profitable sector in real estate investment, he said, “Well, I think probably the charter school business.”
This misuse of the public’s education dollars to enrich real estate tycoons helps to explain why a few incredibly wealthy people (who would send their children to private schools anyway) fund Question 2 but hide their identities, as Prof. Maurice Cunningham has written. (By the way, Maurice Cunningham has no opinion on charters, he just objects to dark money in politics.)
It’s no wonder this election has strong progressives like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, AG Maura Healey, Rep. Capuno, State Sen. Pat Jehlen, and many more lining up to vote No along with 170+ school committees and so many grassroots activists.
Vote No on 2.
*Sure, you can find some non-Republican, non-billionaires who support Question 2–but the question is, why are Republicans and billionaires–people mostly opposed to progress on income inequality–pushing for a rapid expansion of charters?