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Sun Sep 9, 2018, 06:29 AM

Billionaires v teachers: the Koch brothers' plan to starve public education

A small group of women have succeeded in putting a state law promoted by Betsy DeVos and billionaire donors which they see as an attack on public education on the ballot in November

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Steven Greenhouse in Phoenix

Fri 7 Sep 2018 06.00 EDT Last modified on Sat 8 Sep 2018 06.18 EDT

Arizona has become the hotbed for an experiment rightwing activists hope will redefine America’s schools – an experiment that has pitched the conservative billionaires the Koch brothers and Donald Trump’s controversial education secretary, Betsy DeVos, against teachers’ unions, teachers and parents. Neither side is giving up without a fight.

With groups funded by the Koch brothers and DeVos nudging things along, Arizona lawmakers enacted the nation’s broadest school vouchers law, state-funded vouchers that are supposed to give parents more school choice and can be spent on private or religiously affiliated schools. For opponents, the system is not about choice but about further weakening the public school system. A half-dozen women who had battled for months against the legislation were angry as hell.


Convinced that the law would drain money from Arizona’s underfunded public schools, these women complained that Arizona’s lawmakers had ignored the public will and instead heeded the wishes of billionaires seeking to build up private schools at the expense of public schools.

“We walked outside the Capitol Building, and we looked at each other, and said, ‘What now?” said one of the women, Dawn Penich-Thacker, a mother of two boys in public school and a former army public information officer. “We had been fighting this for four months. We realized that there’s something we can do about it. It’s called a citizens’ referendum. We said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/07/arizona-fight-koch-brothers-school-vouchers

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Reply Billionaires v teachers: the Koch brothers' plan to starve public education (Original post)
turbinetree Sep 2018 OP
Achilleaze Sep 2018 #1
pansypoo53219 Sep 2018 #2
Hortensis Sep 2018 #3
sharedvalues Sep 2018 #4
llmart Sep 2018 #6
B Stieg Sep 2018 #7
Kurt V. Sep 2018 #5
mountain grammy Sep 2018 #8

Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 06:36 AM

1. "Keep the proles stupid, and voting against their own interests. Heh heh." - Koch (R)

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Response to Achilleaze (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 06:53 AM

2. stupid + vote GOP.

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 07:04 AM

3. Save Our Schools is wonderful. Kavanaugh is dreadful.

The Kochs are keeping quiet, but others aligned with them have talked for decades about ending public education and having mandatory universal education declared unconstitutional. School vouchers are only an intermediate step to the real goal, which includes ending mandatory taxation to pay for education. Nothing is too extreme for extremists, and that's what the Koch types and Kavanaugh are. Kavanaugh's record from operating within a generally liberalism-dominated judicial environment is full of red flags.

Some of our strongly conservative acquaintances here in the deep south believe even southern public schools are indoctrinating their children with liberal lies. They see contradictions to their deluded beliefs everywhere, not just through science teachings but in every class. There's tremendous hostility. Among others, just imagine what not having to pay for schools would do to our property tax bills. Fewer people are having children than in the past, and there would be support for it.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 08:25 AM

4. Yes

You make a few great points:

- kids become more “liberal” in schools because liberalism is reality based and conservatism today is based on propaganda and lies
- the vast majority of scientists are liberals, showing that smart people are liberal
- there are so many conservatives in law ONLY because of billionaire-funded affirmative action- it’s way easier to get ahead in law if you’re conservative. Kavanaugh benefited from that.
- Koches want to kill public schools so they can indoctrinate kids in their pro-corporate viewpoint. Same reason they push homeschooling. They don’t want kids to go to public schools, learn about how the world works, and become liberals, based in reality.

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Response to sharedvalues (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 09:00 AM

6. Also, they don't want kids to go to public schools...

because they don't want them to be exposed to other people who aren't exactly like them; i.e., different races, ethnicities, cultures because then they learn at a very young age that people are just people and it makes no difference. Kids then become accustomed to not being afraid of anyone "different" from them.

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Response to sharedvalues (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 09:01 AM

7. Thank You!

As a teacher, it's heartening to see that some citizens DO understand what we do and why it matters.

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 08:58 AM

5. a continuation of the Koch mantra. ...

Everything, everything must be for profit.

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 09:38 AM

8. K & R

Good organization, Save our Schools. Very worthy of whatever anyone can spare.

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