December 16, 2013

 

We thought that as you finish your holiday shopping, you may want to know about the continuing involvement of Walmart and its family foundation’s involvement in the school privatization movement of so-called “school reform”.

 

The Walton Foundation’s public relations firm sent out the following message to the media this morning:

 

Tomorrow, the Walton Family Foundation will announce a multi-million dollar investment in the Alliance for School Choice, the leading national organization promoting, defending and implementing private school choice programs in the nation.

 

This investment will double the number of students enrolled in private school with the support of public funds in the next five years. In Indiana specifically, this investment will support ASC as it works with families to take advantage of its Choice Scholarship Program.

The Walton Family Foundation is a “philanthropic” organization of Sam and Helen Walton, the owners of Walmart. The foundation has been a Chairman level sponsor of ALEC, which equals to a $50,000 yearly sponsorship.

 

Over the past several years, many of the biggest contributors to the so-called "school choice" movement have been billionaires who don't even live in Indiana, but have gained significant influence in local school politics. One of the biggest billionaire groups who want to privatize our public schools has been the Walton family, who want to bring more Walmart style schools to Indiana.

 

Through September of this year, the Walton Family Foundation has given over $15 million to the Alliance for School Choice.

 

The Alliance for School Choice is a non-profit organization that promotes school privatization efforts. The organization is a member of ALEC’s Education Task Force. Alliance for School Choice describes themselves as “a national school choice leader, investing in states with the greatest potential for enacting or expanding high-quality, accountable school choice programs."

 

We realize that it is becoming harder to be a socially conscious consumer. But supporting a company that wants to privatize our public schools and drive down already low wages for educators is something we can all prevent by not shopping Walmart.

 

More information about Walmart and its record on the treatment of its own employees and anti-union stance can be found at makingchangeatwalmart.org.