Cashing in on Kids is our pick of recent news about the privatization of public education. Not a subscriber? Sign up. Make sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Is school security the next gold rush?A year after the harrowing school shooting in Parkland, Florida, investor cash is pouring into the school security market. But big money was already being spent on unproven technology shielded from public view. “Schools and other education-related buyers are the fifth-biggest market for surveillance systems across the world but the top market in the United States, with $2.7 billion in revenue in 2017.” The Washington Post
A warning to D.C.’s education leaders.A former board member at Indianapolis Public Schools describes her experience working with former superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee, who also happens to the D.C. mayor’s choice for the next D.C. Public Schools chancellor: “Under Dr. Ferebee’s leadership, we created ‘Innovation Network Schools’— partnerships between IPS and charter schools. But it turned out that Innovation Network Schools aren’t really partnerships at all. In fact, they’re an underhanded way of turning over public resources and assets to private hands.” 730DC
Huge salaries for charter school leadership. Journalist Rachel Cohen digs into charter school administrator salaries in Washington, D.C., revealing startling figures: “The head of Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School and the highest-paid charter official in D.C., received a 24 percent salary increase between 2015 and 2016, from $248,000 to $307,000. Then, in 2017, she received another 76 percent increase, bumping her compensation to $541,000.” Washington City Paper
Police in school don’t make students of color feel safer. Rann Miller of the 21st Century Community Learning Center critiques the final report from President Trump’s Federal Commission on School Safety: “The recommendations from Trump’s school safety panel benefit school privatizers, and institutions like prisons, at the expense of people of color. It’s the American way.” The Progressive
“Wherever there’s a battle over public education lately, a billionaire is somehow involved.” Jacobin Magazine weighs in on the upcoming Oakland teachers strike: “Although charter schools don’t improve student outcomes, they have all sorts of destructive impacts. As noted above, they massively drain resources from public schools. In the 2016–17 school year alone, Oakland Unifed School District lost over $57 million in revenue to charter schools, according to a report by In the Public Interest.” Jacobin
ICYMI: the U.S. spends more on its prison system than it does on public schools. The country’s incarceration rates have more than tripled over the past three decades, even as crime rates have fallen. During the same period, government spending on K-12 education increased by 107 percent. Daily Mail