Walmart heirs’ money influences black charter schools debate

Dec 25, 2018 by

Amid fierce debate over whether charter schools are good for black students, the heirs to the Walmart company fortune have been working to make inroads with advocates and influential leaders in the black community.

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The Walton family, as one of the leading supporters of America’s charter school movement, is spreading its financial support to prominent and like-minded black leaders, from grassroots groups focused on education to mainstream national organizations such as the United Negro College Fund and Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, according to an Associated Press analysis of tax filings and nonprofit grants data.

“Those closest to the challenge often have the best solution,” Marc Sternberg, who leads the Walton Family Foundation’s education efforts, said in a prepared statement.

Charter schools, which are publicly funded and privately operated, are often located in urban areas with large back populations, intended as alternatives to struggling city schools. Black enrollment in charters has doubled over the course of a decade, to more than 760,000 students as of 2015-16, according to the latest federal data, but the rise also has been marked by concerns about racial segregation, inconsistent student outcomes, and the hollowing-out of neighborhood public schools.

Source: Walmart heirs’ money influences black charter schools debate | WTOP

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