Where does the Brighter Choice Foundation, brainchild of Uber Teacher Thomas W Carroll, get its funding from? Everybody's favorite mom and pop superstore, WalMart
The January 10, 2010 edition of the Albany Times-Union did some digging and found that Walton Family Foundation, the heirs of WalMart, is the largest contributor to Brighter Choice Foundation. The foundations has doled out $15 million for charter school construction alone in Albany and more than $1 million a year for several years for operations of the growing Brighter Choice charter schools.
The Times-Union also reports that, money flowing into the region from various billionaires is underwriting a fledgling and publicly-financed charter school cluster in Albany that is among the most promising in the industry. It is also troubling teachers union officials who wonder why the right is sponsoring schools in urban Albany.
But why is the Right so interested in Albany. Surely they can't be lobbying or making campaign contributions. Surely Governor Paterson believes in his own heart of hearts in charter schools. Or not?
According to the Times-Union, the only Walton money coming into New York political campaigns is from Christy R. Walton and it's been going to Paterson. She has given only to the governor's election campaign -- not when he was a senator or lieutenant governor candidate. Walton has made three contributions totaling $55,900 to the governor's election effort, according to most recent state disclosures.
So confused I am. I could swear that Tommy whined about the UFT lobbying efforts and money it throws around Albany. But who else does Thomas J Carroll whore himself out to?
Seems that Tommy and his Education Reform and Accountability think tank are whores to the Gilder Foundation, which has given Brighter Choice millions of dollars over the years. Have you no shame Tommy?
No, Tommy hasn't any shame/ To do business with WalMart a company that refuses to let its employees unionize, a company that makes its workers pay 35% to health care costs, a company that refuses to pay overtimes, a company known to lock its employees in a store. This is the type of company that Thomas W Carroll does business with? For shame.
Now check this out. In the Times Union story, Assemblyman John McEneny, D-Albany, who is wary of charter schools, said he thinks the Brighter Choice curriculum mirrors the profit-motive culture of the Wall Street backers and Wal-Mart. As an example, he said children earn payments toward field trips for their achievements. Others are left home during the class trips if they haven't earned the payments.
Leaving kids home from a field trip that is supposed to be educational because they don't have enough "charter bucks?" That is not right. It is just plain wrong. The only reason a student is kept not from going on a field trip is if there is a safety concern. Tommy, I am so upset!!