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Black Community Opinions

Local Voices: Public vs. Charter Schools Truths

By Sean C. Bowers

The new President’s nominee for Secretary of Education has never attended a public school, nor have any of her children. She has volunteered at a public school which is not even the equivalent of letting a teacher’s assistant become the person in charge of all schools and of America’s educational system. U.S. education’s DeVos, is all our loss!

How could such an unqualified individual even be considered, let alone confirmed? She was chosen because she is so pro-charter schools, which is exactly what the Republican Party platform both wants and demands. Why? The Right’s long-range goals are to cloak their real intentions of de-funding, de-stabilizing and ultimately destroying public school education completely- all in the name of “charter school choice.”

Their reasoning, on the surface, is that parents should have more choices- the best options of where to send their children for an outstanding education. The Right always points to schools they call “bad, crime-infested, underperforming” … There are both good and bad public schools the same way there are both good and bad charter schools. So why the push to challenge public education and eventually replace it with charter schools?

First, public education has always been the backbone of every American citizen’s path to upward mobility. Republicans, mostly rich and white for the majority, know they can limit average Americans’ ability to raise themselves up to higher earning, educational and employment levels by crippling or ruining the public school system by de-funding it.

The Right tells bold-face lies that the choice of charter schools outweighs the existing system’s health and very existence. By breaking the educational system so badly, the warped logic of the Right assumes that Americans will eventually have to support a mass move to all privatized for profit charter schools (that feed into the existing US prison industrial privatized penal complex, making’em mo and mo money.)

This brings us to the “Big Lie.” Just because you have a choice of schools does not mean all Americans can actually afford ALL the costs. The Right will never talk about how the charter school vouchers’ system in nearly all cases, does not, and will never completely cover school tuition, books, board, transportation, food, sports equipment, supplies, incidentals and uniforms. Why?

The Right rarely send their children to the very public schools they seek to shutter and close. The Right has the money (now) to give their children the best charter school educations. They know most middle class and poorer Americans don’t have the money to pay all of the charter schools’ costs. Sadly, most parents don’t realize or understand just how expensive the “public-to-charter” changes will be until they are neck deep with no options. Our entire American educational system is destabilized every day with every transfer.

By de-funding both public school education and Planned Parenthood (under the guise of opposing abortion,) the power party gets the real “two-fer” combo result they want. They get more poor middle class people having more children locked into a life-long subservient lower class that they can rarely climb out of or escape. Keeping people uneducated, dumb, poor, barefoot and pregnant, pumping out more workers for the bosses’ children who are being educated at the best of the most expensive white charter schools, is a version of white management’s “SLAVE PLANTATION,” reincarnated in 2017.

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In their future, 4/5’s of Americans will work for the 1/5 “Trumps” of the American landscape. Poor and middle class children deserve to be educated equally as well as the richest and whitest of America’s children at their Harvard-like schools.

Public education is the most important first rung of the ladder out of poverty. Pull up the ladder, deny the right of a quality free education to all, and the wealthy elites have their future hard labor minimum wage workforce to profit from, permanently.

Sean C. Bowers is a local progressive youth development coach, author and poet, who has written for the New Journal and Guide for eighteen years. His book of over 120 NJ&G articles detailing the issues is available via email at and he does make large-scale solutions presentations upon request.

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