Ahead of the official introduction of his sweeping education platform in South Carolina this coming weekend, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday became the first 2020 presidential candidate to call for a national ban on for-profit charter schools.
“Charter schools are led by unaccountable, private bodies, and their growth has drained funding from the public school system,” Sanders tweeted. “When we are in the White House we will ban for-profit charter schools.”
Sanders’s support for banning for-profit charters comes as President Donald Trump’s Department of Education—under the leadership of billionaire Betsy DeVos—is pushing for the expansion of charter schools nationwide.
“We need more of them, not fewer,” DeVos said of the schools during a congressional hearing earlier this year.
According to CNN—which got an advanced look at Sanders’s plan before its official release—the senator’s platform will also include a moratorium on federal funding for all public charter schools until a “national audit on the schools has been completed.”
CNN reported that the senator will also propose:
- Mandating that charter schools comply with the same oversight requirements as public schools;
- Mandating that at least half of all charter school boards are teachers and parents;
- Disclosing student attrition rates, non-public funding sources, financial interests and other relevant data;
- Matching employment practices at charters with neighboring district schools, including standards set by collective bargaining agreements and restrictions on exorbitant CEO pay;
- Supporting the efforts of charter school teachers to unionize and bringing charter schools to the negotiating table.
“As president I will stand with groups like the NAACP and put a moratorium on federal funding of new charter schools until rules are in place to make sure they are operating with transparency and accountability,” Sanders tweeted on Friday.
The NAACP passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on the expansion of charter schools during its national convention in 2016.
In a report (pdf) on charters released in 2017, the NAACP Task Force on Quality Education recommended the complete elimination of for-profit charter schools.
“No federal, state, or local taxpayer dollars should be used to fund for-profit charter schools, nor should public funding be sent from non-profit charters to for-profit charter management companies,” the report stated. “The widespread findings of misconduct and poor student performance in for-profit charter schools demand the elimination of these schools.”
Inside the secret GOP plan to keep power in 2020 — and beyond
In 2020, we need to pay attention to state elections as well as elections for president and Congress. State elections could decide whether the Republican Party further corrupts American democracy.
As demographics change — and America becomes more diverse and more liberal — the GOP has responded by implementing policies that will take away power from the American people. Rather than changing with the times, they’ve got another plan: minority rule – by them.
The 2020 candidates need to go after Trump on his supposed strength
Among many outcomes and observations following last week’s ABC News/Univision presidential debate, there were only two candidates who were willing to attack Donald Trump and the trolls who surround him: Sen. Kamala Harris and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke. That’s not to say the others didn’t mention President Trump at all. It's just that Harris and O’Rourke stood out in terms of their unflinching and aggressive attacks against Trump (Harris) and the Republican Party’s destructive fealty to the gun lobby (O’Rourke).
There’s a noticeable pee-shyness among the Democrats, too often quivering like Shaggy and Scooby over being seen as too anti-Trump or too anti-gun in the face of the elusive white-male diner crowd, despite the reality that Trump’s approvals are stuck in the 40 percent range, give or take. Likewise, support for a new assault weapons ban and an expansion of federal background checks is practically universal. A recent Fox News poll showed 67 percent support for an assault weapons ban and 90 percent support for expanded background checks. Oddly, those numbers indicate that Harris and O’Rourke weren’t really going out on any limbs here, except when contrasted with the baffling timidity of the other Democrats.
Democratic White House hopeful Elizabeth Warren calls Trump ‘corruption in the flesh’
Facing thousands of cheering supporters in the nation's largest city, Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren on Monday decried President Donald Trump as "corruption in the flesh".
"Corruption has put our planet at risk. Corruption has broken our economy. And corruption is breaking our democracy," said Warren, a Massachusetts senator who has emerged as a leading presidential contender.