Cashing in on Kids is In the Public Interest‘s pick of recent news about the privatization of public education and the communities fighting back.

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The charter school industry is vying for federal bailout money. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, a national charter advocacy organization, is advising charter schools to apply for federal bailout money aimed at helping small businesses and nonprofit organizations hurt by the coronavirus crisis. The Washington Post

Online learning shouldn’t be an excuse to privatize public education. Scientist and professor Lis Kenneth Regula wants universities and colleges to be intentional about online learning during and after the crisis. As city officials across California are asking Gov. Gavin Newsom to suspend or delay numerous state laws—including those concerning procurement and transparency—the same should be said about K-12 public schools. “While having more options for students to access higher education is good, these hasty shifts to online teaching may become an excuse to further inject privatization into U.S. higher education.” The Hechinger Report

Right-wing group says to “lower barriers” to online learning. The right-wing Washington Policy Center, an affiliate of the Koch brothers-funded State Policy Network, argues that private and charter schools are best equipped to handle online learning. “Educators at these schools are able to be more responsive, being free from union politics.” Washington Policy Network

DeVos proposes national school vouchers. Never letting a crisis go to waste, billionaire Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has proposed “microgrants focused toward the most disadvantaged students” in communities where the school has “simply shut down.” She said during a coronavirus task force press conference, “I’ve always believed education funding should be tied to students, not systems, and that necessity has never been more evident.” Forbes

Why the pandemic could weaken the school privatization agenda. In a hopeful tone, the Independent Media Institute’s Jeff Bryant writes: “The mounting fallout of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing politicians and policymakers to acknowledge the importance of schools as vital community institutions that need resources and support rather than fiscal austerity, privatization, and punitive accountability—the pillars of the market-based education movement.” LA Progressive

Privacy in the age of coronavirus. Schools are confronting a wide range of potential problems around student data privacy as they scramble to put technology tools for virtual instruction in place. EdWeek

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