The US News and World Report writes that one of the country’s largest and most powerful lobby unions, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) – along with a political group called, In The Public Interest --launched a new website taking aim at public charter schools. In the first of what appears to be a series of attacks on parent choice in education, the AFT-financed project specifically targets educational services providers, including K12 Inc., that provide curriculum and academic services to public charter schools. They are apparently agitated that “for-profit” companies are servicing public schools.
However, the real issue is not that “for profits” are involved in education, (after all, private companies have been providing essential products and services to public schools for decades: e.g. textbooks, computers, IT, construction, furniture, you name it!) it is that public charter schools disrupt the status quo by expanding options for students and empowering parents with the freedom to choose. As K12’s Jeff Kwitowski told the US News and World Report, “It is unfortunate the AFT is pushing an ‘us vs. them’ narrative, rather than focusing on working together to improve public education to help meet the educational needs of every child. Not every child is the same. Children need options in education. Powerful lobbying organizations that actively oppose educational choice are at odds with parents who want the freedom to choose public school programs for their children.”