RSN June 14 Fundraising
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Their efforts began in North Carolina where they funded an effort to resegregate schools in an award-winning school district. Using the same language as Gov. George Wallace in the 60s, Koch-supported school board members attempted to make "segregation always" a policy for tens of thousands of families. While David and Charles Koch drink down the high life, they are causing tens of thousands of families in North Carolina to lose their opportunity at enjoying educational equality and a free and fair shot at success. It's part and parcel of the Kochs' ideology to dismantle public service generally.


Why Do the Koch Brothers Want to End
Public Education?

By Robert Greenwald, Open Mike Blog

16 August 11

 

Call David Koch and tell him to stop funding school resegregation now! His number is 212-319-1100." -- CW/RSN

 

he Koch brothers have more than $42 billion to make public policy out of their anti-government ideology, and their assault against public education epitomizes their tactics to remake our nation.

The Koch brothers founded Americans for Prosperity and have contributed more than $5 million to its political coffers. Americans for Prosperity, in turn, contributed to organizations that financially influenced a community school board election.

That's right: the Koch brothers are involving themselves, through their wealth-backed political apparatus, in local schools.

Americans for Prosperity allied with groups in North Carolina with the sole purpose of building a new majority on the school board in and around Raleigh. The Koch apparatus was trying to rewrite the social contract that made the Wake County school system a magnet for teachers and families and the surrounding communities prosper.

Each campus was its own melting pot where students could build meaningful relationships and find their niche. Advanced courses and after school activities gave tens of thousands of children a path to higher education and a shot at success.

Many families in the community attributed local prosperity and harmony to the way the school district assigned students to schools.

That policy came under siege from the Koch brothers who, through Americans for Prosperity, indirectly supported school board candidates who campaigned on reversing the busing for diversity program. The outside involvement made a school board election into the most divisive race since the 1970s.

The Koch brothers and outside influence provided the script for the Koch-supported candidates. They campaigned to end "forced busing" and promise to enact a "neighborhood schools" mandate.

Do those phrases ring a bell? Using the same language Gov. George Wallace used in the 60s, Koch-supported candidates in North Carolina are pushing to make public policy based on Wallace's "segregation always" pledge. And they had the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity's full support.

This is a new example of the Koch brothers' so-called extreme free market ideology. It's an incredible window into the brothers' disdain for public service and government protection in general.

Secondary school is a distant memory for the brothers Koch, both in their 70s and both graduates of nonpublic schools (David went to a Northeast boarding school, and Charles to military school). While Charles kicks back in his fenced off Kansas estate and David sips chardonnay and reflects on ballet in New York City, teenagers Moses and Robert Wright are in jeopardy of being shut out from the advanced high school classes they need for college admission.

The teenagers attend college preparatory classes through the district diversity program. The Koch brothers' influence at such a local level concerns Gerold Wright, the boys' father.

"We want to make sure we can get the best education public money can buy," he says in the video. "It worries me. We had a game plan and we did not think we would have to change."

Quinton White was one of the first students to be relocated without a say in the matter. He said his relationships with former mentors, teachers and students have suffered.

"I feel it was a sneaky move [and] I'm just disconnected right now," he said. "The decision ... has made it difficult for students like me to adjust and grow."

They are living proof that the Koch brothers are causing students to lose their opportunity for a free and fair shot at academic achievement and future success.

All politics is local, but it's extremely jarring to meet families and children who've been compromised by the Koch brothers' ideology. It's as simple what Gerold Wright says.

"What they're trying to do is dismantle the whole public school system," he said.


Robert Greenwald is a producer, director, political activist, and Brave New Films founder and president.

 

Comments   

We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.

General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

- The RSN Team

 
+7 # universlman 2011-08-16 21:44
just say no to koch
 
 
+9 # Brooklyn Basics 2011-08-16 22:49
Thank you for keeping us informed. It is so sad to watch these corporate feudal lords manipulate the electorate so that they can reduce all but the richest Americans to serfdom.
 
 
+4 # John Gill 2011-08-16 23:52
This is the third mini documentary by these folks I've watched. I keep hoping for something of quality, and keep being let down. "Why do the Koch Brothers want to end public education?" is the lede...so why don't you answer the question? Nowhere in this film is there any substance, nor was there in the films I saw previously. I watched an interview with the film maker wherein he talked of all the research his people were doing....where? any facts? Lots of he said she said. I went to the main website...nothi ng of any substance. Come on! These are critical issues. Please apply some critical thinking.
 
 
+3 # Rita Walpole Ague 2011-08-17 01:48
In addition to being a producer, director, et. al., Robert Greenwald, is also a prophet, a.k.a. truth teller of great excellence.

Americans for Prosperity is the enslaving tool for the Kochs. As addicted as the Kochs are to greed and acquiring $$$, spend millions they will to further secure their co-addiction: power over all.

And, a great way for them to secure total power is to destroy education (particularly critical thinking) for all.

'Every child left behind', combined with no ed. coming from a bought out 'mess' media that MSD's (manipulates, spins, distracts) vs. truthfully investigates and informs, is their two pronged secondary insurance policy to keep safe their evil empire.

Buyout through their American for Prosperity of every buyable pol., and seeing to it that hidden and not so hidden mass election fraud stays in place, is their number one insurance policy.

Evil 'kochies', with their greed and power addictions, have been destroyed throughout human history. 1st step: recognize them for what they are, the root of all evil, then revolt and strip them of their wealth and power. It's difficult but doable. Just read history.

And, thanks to Robert Greenwald and his fellow prophets (Michael Moore, Keith Olberman, et.al.), for helping us recognize Kochs and other evil villainaires.
 
 
+5 # rm 2011-08-17 05:13
It is really scary how the fundamentalist christian right wing is gaining momentum. The rise of Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry is really alarming. These people really to want to "take our country back." By that they mean take it back to the Jim Crow days of the 1920s - rampant robber barons on wall street and segregation/rep ression in the rest of the nation. It is telling that the hate the Progressvie era which turned America away from the Jim Crow world of the early 20th century.

Fasten your seat belt, folks. This juggernaut cannot be stopped. The amerikkkan fascists have all the money, all the media, and most of the government.
 
 
+1 # Texas Aggie 2011-08-17 05:23
There is enough blame to spread around. In addition to the Koch's, DeVos and others are spending millions of dollars on statewide races to bring about things like charter schools and vouchers to start with, and then to eliminate free public schooling in its entirety. While the Koch's have their own agenda, these other people, and I use the term loosely, are planning to cash in on the private sector and make a bundle of money off private education funded by taxpayers through the voucher system and required support of charter schools.
 
 
+3 # foxtrottango 2011-08-17 07:17
An uneducated America is good for the rich, the right wing conservative politicians, the Christian Coalition Bishops, protestant ministers and bigots.

That is what the right wing Christian Conservatives in the Republican party also want.

That way Americans won't know what hits them from time to time. It worked in Nazi Germany, didn't it?

When and if most Americans will finally realized that, than the American people will be able to do somthing about it, like putting all the Koch's, Rick Perry's, Karl Roves, Bachmanns and Boehners in jail for betraying our democracy.

They are the biggest problems, not only in America, but throughout the world!
 
 
0 # Diane Johnson 2011-08-17 09:08
follow the money trail as to who will profit by privatizing (ie.. give to wall st) everything even schools and jails and parks and etc... Time to fight back or leave the country average joe never has heard of these guys WHY?
 
 
+5 # Ben Parks 2011-08-17 10:02
The Koch Brothers have no interest in seeing a well educated generation of critically thinking individuals grow to adulthood prepared to call business and government into account for their actions. Not at all. What they want is a scantily educated cadre of docile & compliant worker bees and consumers. It's about power and control extending into the foreseeable future and when the supporters of the Koch's front organization realize that they've been duped into acting against their own best interests, they will be saddest of all. As the saying goes "...there's a sucker born every minute," the Koch's are counting on it.
 
 
+6 # qasee 2011-08-17 10:59
"Americans for Prosperity" - which means prosperity for us selected few Americans. For the rest of us?....Too Bad.
 
 
+1 # VSweet 2011-08-22 18:55
The Koch Brothers are the New American Pimps!

The T baggers and the Republicans are their women. They are out to make their pimps some money and dragging America into a living hell.
 
RSNRSN