Letter: Walker wants to privatize state education by Mari Larson
Imagine in the near future not having any high school sporting events to attend. No music concerts. No forensics. No high school musicals, etc. There will be few public schools-and probably none in rural areas (except maybe elementary schools). Rather, most schools will be private or virtual.
Communities will have no community atmosphere. There will be no place to connect with neighbors and children’s friends. Teenagers will have to be trusted to be home alone and do their virtual school homework. There may possibly be “pay to play” clubs children can join-if they afford them and can drive there while care givers are at work.
Why virtual schools? There is money to be made by turning public schools into free-market, for-profit private schools. For example, the top executives of the virtual education company K-12 Inc., are making millions of dollars with the CEO making over $2.6 million.
Many legislatures in state government are on board with this current educational transformation. Governor Walker and his allies in and outside of government don’t care if this is good for children. They want public schools to fail so that education will be part of the free market.
Are you thinking this can’t happen? Many states have already passed laws in support of for-profit private schools. In Wisconsin, Act 10, various other bills and the largest cuts to education in state history are helping this transformation from public to private education.
Many of these laws come from ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). After being in secret existence for 30 years, someone in the group finally exposed them. The laws they create-and in which legislatures take back to their state-are full of proposals to decrease local control of schools by elected school board officials while increasing access of all parts of education to privatization and corporations. (To see the laws, go to alec.org.)
These private, for-profit educational businesses will make it cost prohibitive for many children when vouchers aren’t enough for tuition. Therefore, only the wealthy (and children with no other disadvantages) will be able to afford or attend a private school.
Do you think the free market transformation of public education is the way to go? How long do you think a for-profit educational system will be sustainable? If this is what you want for our communities, children and education, vote for Walker.
Mari Larson, Sauk City