It’s okay for commodities and things that are nonessential to life be provided by for-profit corporations. But a life necessity, such as K-through-12 public education, should not be up for sale. Nevertheless that’s exactly the direction public education is heading.
It’s the political right that’s steering us in that direction. They believe that privatization is the cure-all for all that’s wrong. They believe that the “invisible hand” of free market profits placed in the hands of rich people will trickle down and lift the impoverished out of poverty. They therefore strive to abolish Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, and every piece of federal legislation that protects the impoverished, families, the elderly, and children, and put them in the hands of the private sector to manage for a profit.
On the other hand, the private sector lobby spends millions of dollars to support legislation that’s directed at shutting down any government entity that impedes their profits, or keeps them out of perceived profitable markets. And they perceive education as a market to exploit for profit.
With folks like the billionaire Koch brothers, who support privatization by influencing the political right through political contributions and lobbying in an effort to influence legislation designed to maximize privatization, the probability of that happening is very real. Especially if republican, conservative, and libertarian candidates take over Congress in the fall. Even with more certainty if the White House falls to a Republican candidate in 2016.
Lee Fang, over at The Nation, offers some insight. He writes, “Venture capitalists and for-profit firms are salivating over the exploding $788.7 billion market in K-12 education,” and “… despite the opposition of ‘unions, public school bureaucracies, and parents,’ the ‘education market is ripe for disruption.’”
Copyright © 2014 Horatio Green