by Lynda Rubin
As in any drama or comedy, the cast of characters hints at things to come.The 2020 presentation of new charter applications brought back the same privatizing cast, some with different names, who continue the weakening of Philadelphia public education for their own financial and political gain. This is the annual attempt to expand the companies’ existing charter companies with the funding and protection of non-profits. The organizations behind the new charters may be non-profit in tax terms, but they are backed by for-profit edu-investors whose goal is to take the public out of public education.
For years, Philadelphia has been a Ground Zero for carrying out the ideology of the wealthy proponents of school choice. Charter companies made many promises but produced few actual gains. Charter operators, with the collaboration of the SRC and the Board, have eluded meaningful oversight for over two decades.