Although charter schools, free schools, or academies as they are variously called, are promoted as a reform that benefits students and communities in need of “excellence” in education,  the schools are pushed by an interlocking network of politicians, foundations created by billionaires,  transnational corporations, and billionaires functioning as individual donors. Their motive is "dispossession" and sometimes more crudely “asset-stripping” – taking what has been a public good and converting it to a profit-making scheme for the wealthy.

As we have reported previously, these schools are a key component of GERM (Global Education Reform Movement) and are often imposed on communities when local schools are determined to be “failing” and shuttered.  Often the charter schools themselves are subsequently determined to be substandard – and closed.

Parents, students, teachers, and teachers unions are more frequently uniting to contest this destabilizing process, counterproductive to quality education.  As a blog today by a U.S. academic and activist notes, grass-roots resistance is causing policy changes in many countries.  A major charter school backer in the U.S., Families for Excellent Schools, has closed its doors. Its original backers were primarily hedge fund and private equity tycoons and its major donors included foundations funded and controlled by billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates, the Walton Family, and Eli Broad.