In the three years since President George W. Bush moved to Washington, his Department of Education has provided $77 million in federal grants to private groups working to introduce a voucher system of education. This money, allocated from the No Child Left Behind appropriation, included $14 million to K12, a private company founded by former Reagan Secretary of Education William Bennett.People for the American Way discovered this covert funding of right-wing organizations when analyzing the Department of Education’s grantmaking process. “As the Bush administration has closed the tap on education funding, even abandoning much of its commitment to ‘No Child Left Behind’ and other critical education programs like IDEA and Headstart, money is flowing to private, pro-voucher advocacy groups,” said People for the American Way President Ralph Neas. “This administration is sending millions of taxpayer dollars to groups that have been built by an interconnected network of right-wing foundations dedicated to privatizing education in America.”
Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.