June 27, 2023 11:06 am

How Right-Wing Christians Are Taking Over the Charter School Industry

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By Carol Burris

Former Education Secretary and Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos and her husband, Dick DeVos, want to advance God’s “kingdom” with taxpayers footing the bill. School choice is the banner under which the DeVoses and their Christian nationalist allies fight to turn back the clock on American culture by undermining “government schools.” Their preference is to spread religious school vouchers, but the expansion of charter schools designed to appeal to Christian nationalist families serves their plan too.

For years, the charter school movement was associated with neoliberal reforms based on the belief that school competition in urban environments would be the tide that lifted all boats. But that thinking shifted as school choice became a Republican priority. There is even an ongoing effort, applauded by DeVos’s American Federation for Children, to open the first religious charter school in Oklahoma–which was approved by the Virtual Charter Board this week.

You can read Carol Burris’ piece in The Progressive Magazine here.