To: Walmart Family Foundation, Buddy Philpot, Marc Sternberg, Jim Walton, and Rob Walton
Tell the Walmart Heirs to Hold Charter Schools Accountable
With over $200 million in charter school fraud reported last year, it’s clear that the rapid expansion of charter schools with no public oversight isn’t working for taxpayers and students. The Walton Family Foundation has been the biggest driver of the rapid expansion and its grantees have led the battle against appropriate oversight.
We ask that the Walton Family Foundation demand that its charter school and charter advocate grantees adhere to a public oversight and accountability agenda that helps safeguard taxpayer funds. The eleven common sense steps for charters would be a start to creating a more transparent system that works better for kids and will help push out some of the worst offenders in the charter school sector.
Why is this important?
Week after week, headlines about charter schools describe stolen money and bankruptcies that leave families scrambling to find new schools in the middle of the year. News reports about corruption and self-dealing in charter schools make it clear that there is little accountability for the people ripping off taxpayers. In the last two years, government watchdog groups have found hundreds of millions of dollars missing from the charter school sector due to fraud, self-dealing and mismanagement.
Meanwhile, the Walton Family Foundation is spending hundreds of millions to promote the rapid expansion of charter schools with weak public oversight. That rapid expansion has made charter schools, originally a concept designed to benefit children, a business model that often serves students poorly while delivering making millions of dollars of taxpayer funds to charter school companies, family members, and related companies.
Join us to tell the Walton Family Foundation that it’s time to start advocating for a charter schools accountability agenda that includes parental input into how the schools are run, and that protects taxpayers and students from companies that are just looking to cash in on public schools.
The agenda calls for increased accountability (through open board meetings, publicly available budgets and contracts, and rigorous audits); protecting neighborhood schools (through impact analyses and financial assessments of the effects of charter expansion on local schools); and protecting taxpayer funds (by ensuring the public retains control of public property, banning nepotism, prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars on marketing and advertising, and blocking new charter schools where officials neglect to prevent fraud and mismanagement). This program for reform is the next step in protecting public education and preventing an increase in charter school corruption.
Read The Charter School Accountability Agenda: http://www.inthepublicinterest.org/wp-content/uploads/0215-Charter-School-Flyer.final_.pdf
Read How the Walton Family Foundation’s Ideological Pursuit is Damaging Charter Schooling: http://cashinginonkids.com/?page_id=1520