Thursday, April 08, 2004

More on Wal-mart's crusade against public education

For more info on the Wal-Mart's crusade against public education, Glenn Ford and Peter Gamble provides the details.
    Public education’s defenders, already outgunned by the combined resources of the right-wing political funding network plus the full weight of the Republican executive branch, now await the deluge: an infusion of $20 billion into the Walton’s private philanthropy, most of it earmarked for education “reform”—the euphemism for school privatization. At the usual rate of foundation disbursement, this would translate as $1 billion a year—a tidal wave of money, enough to reinvent the voucher “movement” many times over.
Wal-Mart is serious about this. It's about 20 billion dollars versus the progressive arsenal, as detailed here. Think David and Goliath:
    The two principal advocacy organizations opposed to vouchers are People for the American Way (PFAW) and the NAACP, with annual budgets of about $15 million and $30 million, respectively. The teachers unions—the National Education Association (NEA, 2.7 million members) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT, 1 million members) spend about $350 million a year combined, for all purposes. Only a tiny fraction of these organizations’ resources can be spared for the anti-voucher fight, while right-wing foundations and the Bush Education Department lavish tens of millions on voucher propaganda, recruitment, cooptation and institution-building.

    If the Waltons continue their policy of allocating about 80 percent of their grants to education, and if only half that amount is targeted to “reform”—privatization in one guise or the other—their yearly “choice” war chest would be larger than the combined budgets of the NEA, the AFT, the NAACP and PFAW. That’s overkill.
Not just overkill, it's like a huge intelligent malignant tumor.