MTA report outlines threats to public education

The MTA has released a new report that outlines the profound threats facing public education and unions in Massachusetts.

The document details the ties among organizations backing charter school expansion in the Commonwealth and organizations throughout the nation that fund and support efforts directed toward “privatizing public education and profiting off the public good.”

Threat to Public Education Now Centers on Massachusetts

The report, Threat to Public Education Now Centers on Massachusetts, updates and expands upon a 2013 MTA task force report called Threat from the Right.

As the introduction notes, the assault on public education, organized labor and social justice has grown substantially in the past few years.

“With the stakes so high, it is no wonder that the forces arrayed against unions and allied social justice organizations are strong, influential and expansive,” it states. “These forces are active in Massachusetts and nationally — and, as this report will demonstrate, there is often little or no space between funders, foundations, policymakers, operators of charter schools, proponents of education ‘reform’ and advocates for small government and privatization. Much of their spending is opaque, and many donors to right-wing advocacy organizations and other funders do not disclose their contributions. Old-line benefactors — including the Koch brothers, the Walton family and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation — continue to contribute massive amounts of money to the fights they take on. But now they are joined by a new breed of ‘venture philanthropists’ eager to use their vast fortunes to shape policy changes.”

As always, the report notes, “undermining unions is an important part of the agenda.”

The full report, Threat to Public Education Now Centers on Massachusetts, is available here.