Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Charter School/Gentrification Connection

If you want to know why I am so suspicious of the Charter School Movement, and it's impact on low income communities, it is because the largest investors in charter schools- hedge fund managers, real estate developers and private equity firms- have a financial interest in real estate in the neighborhoods where charters are located and stand to gain if people in those neighborhoods are divided against one another and unable to resist the array of powerful interests raising rents and driving low income people out. Everywhere we see charters concentrated, from Washington DC, to New Orleans, to Chicago, to LA, San Francisco, and parts of Philly and NYC, we see neighborhoods being gentrified, ethnic businesses closing and residents being pushed out. Charters may have started out as a vehicle for community groups and even teachers unions to improve public education, but they have been taken over by powerful interests aimed at privatizing public education, not improving it, and getting their hands on newly valuable real estate where large number of low and moderate income people live. If you doubt my analysis, do a little research on who funds charter schools in your city and see what connection they have to real estate. You may be surprised at what you find.