The far-Left is not happy with Bill Gates for being a vocal (and financial) supporter of public charter schools. A recent article in Salon.com lambasts Gates for his support and goes so far as to suggest that it is his millions that prompted the state Senate to prioritize a bill seeking to keep charter schools alive, rather than one that address the state Supreme Court’s $100,000 per day fine on taxpayers (which it cannot enforce).
The article concludes,
“The issue is this: the common good or special interests? Why doesn’t Bill Gates, with his $60 billion or so, pay to keep the charters open and insist that the legislature meet its constitutional obligation to the children of Washington state? Why not promote the greatest good for the greatest number?”
The far-Left complaining that the state Senate is pandering to special interests because it prioritized public charter schools is, simply put, ridiculous. Gates’ support of public charter schools is not an example of a special interest agenda; he does not stand to gain anything for his financial support.
Supporting the Washington Education Association’s (WEA) war against public charter schools, on the other hand, is an example of pandering to special interests. The WEA stands to lose control, influence, and money if voter-approved public charter schools are allowed to remain open.
Meeting obligations to the McCleary decision is an entirely separate issue from public charter schools. If the far-Left is looking to attack anyone, they should take a look at Democrats rather than level attacks against Gates.
The truth is Democrats who have underfunded public education and higher education spending for a generation. They have controlled at least one house of the Legislature in 28 of the last 30 years – and had complete control of the Legislature in 14 of those 30 years. A Democrat governor has signed every state budget since 1985. Under these heavily Democrat-controlled budgets, the ratio of new education versus non-education spending was 1:2.
In other words, the Democrats’ priority was two dollars for bigger general government for every new dollar of education funding from 1985 to 2013. Rather than work to improve education in our state, Democrats have pandered to the WEA time and time again.
It’s only when Republicans finally had the opportunity to take the lead in writing the state Senate budget that they managed to breath new life into our state’s spending prioritizes.
In their effort to continue pandering to the WEA, Democrats have been reduced to attacking Bill Gates and accusing public charter school supporters of some kind of non-existent special interest agenda.
It’s attacks at the expense of improving education for children. It’s deceit at its worst.
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