8/10/2017 – Betsy DeVos’s ‘School Choice’ Looks More Like Crony Capitalism

THIS WEEK: Tax Breaks Hurt Schools … What DeVos Did … Trump’s Cuts Hurt Kids … School Choice Screws Rural Schools … Cost Of Back-To-School


Betsy DeVos’s ‘School Choice’ Looks More Like Crony Capitalism

By Jeff Bryant

“U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos says she supports ‘great public schools,’ but her actions continue to show her hypocrisy on that subject … DeVos claims that her proposals are intended to provide more ‘choice’ in the education system, but if that were true, she would be proposing to raise funding levels for all options. The fact she boosts education options in the private sector at the expense of public options shows her real intention is to tilt the playing field toward the choices she wants – privately owned institutions.
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Tax Breaks For Big-Box Stores Can Drain Money From Schools

Education Week

“Using a tactic known as “dark store theory,” retailers and their legal teams are increasingly arguing that the massive stores they operate ought to be appraised as if they were vacant or ‘dark.’ When they succeed, the annual property taxes that retailers pay – which help fund public schools in most local communities – can drop precipitously … So far, the strategy has worked, particularly in the courts, and has led to lowering the taxes of big-box companies by hundreds of millions of dollars … Assessors worry about the potentially sweeping impact the tax loophole could have on essential community services.”
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Like It Or Not, Betsy DeVos Has Made A Mark In Six Months As Education Secretary

The Washington Post

“She and her staff moved swiftly to start to remake the student financial aid system by rolling back or rewriting regulations that were put in place by the Obama administration to protect student borrowers … Being education secretary has given DeVos a national platform to mainstream her school choice ideas, which once were considered radical. And her repeated attacks on the federal government have laid the groundwork for potential future efforts to abolish the Education Department … DeVos’s denunciations of the federal government and her refusal to make even a tepid call-out to the value of the public education system, can’t help but have an effect on the way some Americans feel about their neighborhood public schools.”
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Trump’s Proposed After-School Cuts Could Lead To More Hungry Kids, Lower Test Scores

The Hechinger Report

“The Trump administration’s proposed budget would nix … afterschool programs and impose deep cuts in other areas that impact school meals and nutrition. The USDA … is facing a budget cut of $4.7 billion, or 21% of its discretionary spending, while the Department of Education’s budget could fall by more than $9 billion … Newly installed Department of Agriculture chief, Sonny Perdue, is rolling back school lunch nutrition standards.”
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How Does School Choice Work in Rural Schools?

Education Week Teacher

“Betsy DeVos has made it clear that she has a single agenda item: to improve options for all students via school choice programs. But many rural educators are not convinced. They ask, how does choice work, exactly, in rural states? … In states like Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas, however, families can’t simply choose to attend a different school. Districts are separated by enormous distances. And impending funding cuts that disproportionately affect rural and poor students are not helping to solve the problem … Cutting funding for essential and effective programs in service of spending $1 billion to offer impractical ‘options’ for students who likely will not benefit from them is governmental malpractice.”
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Is Back-To-School Season More Expensive? Yes, And Here’s Why.

The Progressive

Jeff Bryant writes, “It’s no secret why teachers and parents are paying more of the costs of educating our nation’s children. It’s because governments have been spending less on kids … Slashing education budgets at the federal, state, or local level doesn’t save money; it just shifts costs somewhere else … Providing schools with the supplies students need is vital to successfully educating the nation’s future workers, leaders, artists, and citizens.”
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