Federal education policies and programs have created funding streams that reward school districts for closing traditional public schools en mass while rapidly expanding charter schools.
These public dollars are leveraged by the private sector, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which provides funding to school districts that agree to fund charter schools at the same level as traditional public schools, share lessons learned with charters, close the bottom 25 percent of public schools and prioritize turning over empty school buildings to charters.
There are no provisions to strengthen traditional public schools. School districts that participate in the Gates District Charter Compact are closing neighborhood schools and expanding charters at a faster rate than is necessary to 1) ensure that decisions to close schools are made using accurate and complete data 2) ensure that new schools provide high quality alternatives and are able to sustain themselves over the long term.
The city of Chicago could close as many as 140 schools this year. Philadelphia will close 44 schools and Boston will close 20 schools. Most impacted schools are located in low income minority communities.
While massive school closings will impact low income, minority communities disproportionately, this is an issue that impacts us all, as taxpayers, parents, teachers, and engaged community members. Schools are the life source of communities, as they provide meaningful employment opportunities for teachers and support staff, prepare our children for the workforce and help to maintain current property values.
I ask that you take two minutes to visit https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/stop-education-policies-promote-massive-closing-traditional-public-schools-while-expanding-charter/7N4DRln5 to sign the petition.
We need 150 signatures in order for the petition to appear on the president’s We the People website.
We need 25,000 signatures by Jan. 31 in order to get the president to provide a public response to the petition on the website.
Your participation could have a significant impact on future education policy and funding streams.
I ask you to share this in your networks through e-mail, Twitter and Facebook. I have attached a JPEG file for you to post on Facebook. If you post this picture on Facebook and Twitter, make sure you include a link to the petition. You will also be able to share the petition on Facebook and Twitter from the president’s website. Thank you in advance for your role in preserving public education.
Your participation is appreciated.