To: Public School Teachers, Parents, and Supporters
Walmart Won't Get my Back-to-School Dollars
Through their family foundation, the Walton family who owns Walmart has spent more than $1 billion to support the privatization of our public schools. They've funded an aggressive corporate education agenda that has included mass school closures and diverted our public education tax dollars to for-profit voucher and charter schools.
As a teacher, I can't support their company. Until the Walton family stops funding attacks on our public schools, I will be spending my back-to-school dollars elsewhere and encourage you to do the same!
Why is this important?
As a Philadelphia public school teacher for more than 14 years, I've seen firsthand the damage Walmart can do in our communities. My brother worked as a Walmart manager and saw how Walmart's business model destroyed families. But learning that the Walton Foundation is funding attacks on our schools was my tipping point.
After eight years teaching health and physical education in the same school, my school was taken out of the district’s control and every single teacher was forced to be transferred - all in the name of creating a privately-controlled charter school with little oversight or accountability. I was forced to transfer to a new school and leave behind students who had grown up with me as their teacher since kindergarten.
Teachers and students across Philadelphia have experienced these kinds of devastating school closures, which destabilize our communities and often take resources from students who need them the most. All of this was largely thanks to the work of the Philadelphia School Partnership, which received $5 million from the Walton Foundation in 2013 alone.
Unfortunately, Philadelphia is not unique. The Walton Foundation funds anti-public education initiatives like this across the country. And yet their stores profit enormously from school teachers and parents, who stock up on school supplies each year during the back-to-school season.
This year I'm taking a stand - I will be spending my back-to-school dollars elsewhere. Will you join me?