Question #2 is All Wet

This is an opinion piece by Janra, the Engineer of Civil Politics

So I’ve been thinking about this charter school question for a minute, and here’s an analogy that might work: water.

For a long time we had just municipal water, the stuff that came out of the tap. We put public money into it to try to keep it as clean as possible, and everyone paid the same amount for it. There was bottled water but that was really something for the wealthy. Remember all the jokes about rock stars yelling about not having their Perrier?

Recently (relatively…like in the past 30 years) companies started selling more and more bottled water. You didn’t have to find a water fountain. You could be absolutely sure it tasted good, and some people wanted to avoid the fluoride additives in the public stuff. But it REALLY took off – so much so that protecting public water and keeping it safe wasn’t a huge issue anymore, and cities and towns (especially those strapped for cash) put their money in other places.

So we still have city water, but it’s not as good as it was. There is flora in there, the pipes are decaying, and we have disasters like Flint where water safety is ignored so much that people get sick by looking at a glass of it funny. So we buy more bottled water. And that bottled water? The companies buy it from the city or town, filter it *themselves* and then sell it to us at a markup.

So we need water. We require it to survive. Just like education.

We have a great system, but it is being attacked from all sides – over testing, lack of funding, people moving out of certain areas which causes lack of funding, etc. and we have charter schools – privately run education that is funded by the state. A company taking the resource and saying “we can manage it better.”

Charter schools are great… two of them around here (PVPA and the Chinese Immersion school) are good ideas. Charter schools that educate children differently or have a focus are important because not everyone is suited for the standard school experience. But they do take public money (a finite resource) and don’t have the same kind of oversight in general. We already have a ton of them in this state, but they don’t benefit everyone in the same way (most of them are in or around the Boston area). Just like not everyone can afford to buy bottled water regularly, and are forced to drink tap water that hasn’t been treated correctly for years.

So keeping as much money in public schools is best for everyone. All of our children benefit from it, instead of the ones that get into these special schools, and we stop the march towards a time when most people put their kids into a privately run charter school because the public school is crappy… when all we need to do is put more money into actual public education.

Vote no on #2. Pay teachers enough to entice more people to go into the profession, improve the quality of the buildings, give schools enough money to buy the books and supplies they need, and pay for more research on how to educate better so we don’t need as much goddamn testing.

The system is flawed, of course. We need to figure out how to use our money better and how to decide where to put additional funding where it would help the general public the most. But just saying “well the pubic system sucks, let’s just take this money and build more schools for fewer kids” isn’t the answer. Let’s improve our water quality for everyone and not just the people who can buy it from a store.

One thought on “Question #2 is All Wet

  1. During the next month leading up to Tuesday, November 8, as you see or listen to the slick and expensive Madison Avenue-level TV/radio commercials promoting “YES” on Question 2 promulgating such lies as …

    “Question 2 will add more money to public schools (LIE: it won’t. In fact it will do just the opposite.


    “Question 2 won’t take money away from existing public schools (LIE: it will… a lot of money, in fact.)

    … or when view the slick mailers you find in your mailbox, or when listen to robo-calls, think about this following post about EXACTLY WHO is paying for those ads:

    The latest is that over $21.7 million of out-of-state money from the most ruthless capitalists who have ever walked the Earth — Eli Broad, the Walton family of Walmart, Wall Street hedge fund managers, etc. — is pouring into Massach setts to pass Question 2.

    Read this well-researched article here for that $21.7 million figure:

    These profit-minded plutocrats who are pouring in this money obviously …

    — do not live in Massachusetts,

    — have no children, grandchildren, or other relatives that attend public schools in Massachusetts

    — have never given a sh#% about the education of middle or lower income until recently, when they realized they could make a buck off privatizing Massachusetts schools via the expansion of privately-run charter schools,.

    They want to these corporate charter schools to replace truly public schools — the ones that, for generations, have been accountable and transparent to the public via democratically elected school boards, and which are mandated to educate ALL of the public… including those hardest or most difficult to educate … special ed., English Language Learners, homeless kids, foster care kids, kids with difficult behavior arising from distressed home lives.

    Are proponents of Question 2 seriously making the argument that out-of-state billionaires and Wall Street hedge fund managers are pumping in all this money because those folks care so much about the education of kids in Massachusetts?

    You really think they are NOT seeking a big money return on these ($21.7 million campaign donations?

    Does that pass the smell test?

    Can you provide an example of JUST ONE TIME in the past where they poured in this kind of cash to something … no strings attached, and with no expectations of return?

    If, as Q 2 supporters like Marty Walz claim, the most ruthless capitalists that have ever walked the Earth are now kicking in this kind of cash to pass Question 2 merely because they care about children’s education —

    … and if they are not about their profiting through the privatization of public schools brought about by the expansion of privately-run charter schools,

    … then I’m sure one of you Q 2 supporters could google and find a past example where they have done something similar .. .again out of generosity… with no expectation of an eventual monetary return…

    Something like …

    “Well, back in 2000-something, or 1900-something, these same folks donated $20 million to the (INSERT CHARITABLE CAUSE HERE). Here’s the link that proves this.”

    No, I didn’t think so.

    When this was brought up in a debate, Mary Walz refused to address it, saying, “We need to talk about the kids, not the adults.” Well, keeping money-motivated scum from raping and pillaging Massachusetts public schools IS CARING ABOUT THE KIDS, Marty! (By the way, those are many of the same folks who raped and pillaged the housing/mortgage industry a decade ago … go watch the film THE BIG SHORT to get up to speed on that … they’ve just moved on to new place to plunder.)

    So the real question is:

    To whom do the schools of Massachusetts belong? The citizens and parents who pay the taxes there?

    Or a bunch of money-motivated out-of-state billionaires and Wall Street hedge fund managers who are trying to buy them via Question 2, and the expansion of privately-managed charter schools which they control, or also profit from their on-line and digital learning products that will be sold to these charter school chains?

    If you believe the former, THEN FOR GOD’S SAKE, VOTE “NO” ON QUESTION 2.

    Send them a message: Massachusetts schools are NOT FOR SALE!!!

    Oh and go watch the John Oliver charter school video:
    Oh and listen to this dissection of a “YES on 2” radio ad:

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