(Washington, DC) – On Friday, August 12, 2016, Making Change at Walmart, along with Washington Teachers’ Union joined together to call attention to the Walton family’s funding of charter schools at the expense of public schools and teachers in Washington, DC which are in desperate need of aid.
“Walmart has tried to position itself as a friend and supporter of public schools and teachers when in reality the opposite is true,” Washington Teachers’ Union President Elizabeth Davis says. “Walmart and the Walton Family have consistently sought to privatize our schools and destroy public education.”
Davis continued: “Every year, school budgets continue to be cut and teachers are forced to spend hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars of their own money on supplies for their classrooms and their students. We’re asking our members not to spend their hard-earned money at Walmart. It’s important that public school teachers know that the dollars they spend at Walmart are being used to harm the very schools they work in.”
FACTS ABOUT THE WALTONS AND CHARTER SCHOOLS:
- The Walton Family Foundation is one of the country’s biggest funders of school privatization efforts, or charter schools. They’ve helped fund a quarter of the country’s charter schools.
- From 2010 to 2015, the Walton Family Foundation spent more than $1 billion to “infuse competitive pressure into America’s K-12 education system.”
- Since 2014, the foundation reports giving nearly $3.2 million to the following education reform groups in DC:
- Alliance for School Choice, Inc.: $125,000
- Building Hope: $200,000
- Charter Board Partners: $400,000
- DC Public Charter School Board: $500,000
- Expectations Project, Inc.: $175,000
- Fight for Children, Inc.: $15,000
- Friends of Choice in Urban Schools: $675,937
- NewSchools Venture Fund: $1,068,014
- Between 2010 and 2014, the Walton Family Foundation gave more than $2.3 million to the DC Public Charter School Board (including the donation mentioned above), which regulates charter schools. The foundation gives directly to a number of charter schools in DC as well. The New York Times reported donations to DC Prep, KIPP, Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts, and Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School.
- From 2011 to 2013, the foundation also gave nearly $8 million to the DC Public Education Fund, which has been described as “a private funding conduit between philanthropists and DCPS that receives and manages substantial donations from CityBridge, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Walton Foundation, and the Meyer Foundation.”
Pictures from today’s press conference are available upon request.