As Retort covered more than two months ago, the union-backed antics of NPE this spring are focused squarely on defunding charter schools and eschewing teacher accountability.
After sending dozens of emails and near nonstop tweeting about a fabricated scandal involving some charter schools accepting Federal PPP funds aimed at buoying companies through COVID-related lock downs, Karen Burris and NPE were rewarded with an NYTimes story from Erica Green.
Titled “Charter Schools, Some With Billionaire Benefactors, Tap Coronavirus Relief”, the headline plays into flimsy tropes NPE has had a sizable role in amplifying for years. Nary a mention of charter schools is made without the words “corporate” or “billionaire” attached. It’s a slick PR strategy Ravitch, Burris, and ilk use to detract conversation and attention away from the fact that they personally are millionaires funded by millionaires and billionaires.
Media loves to point out charter school backers such as Gates or Bloomberg, but lose their journalistic nerve when it comes to investigating the funding sources of AstroTurf advocacy groups such as NPE and the Partnership for Working Families.
The lone mention of NPE funding in Green’s story is “…and whose early donors included a teachers’ union.” Meanwhile, “billionaire” is used five times and the piece includes a photo of Bloomberg looking extra creepy.
As Retort founder Pete Cook points out, there are plenty of receipts to uncover if only there’s motivation to tell the whole story:
Green would have done well to better explore the network of organizations funded by AFT/NEA in addition to the $13 billion funding gap for charter schools which primarily hurts underserved children.
In reality, just as scandalous would be charter school leaders not seeking available Federal Aid with so many aspects of next school year and budgets still unknown.