The Jan. 14 article about the complaint filed against Portland Public Schools because of the BIPOC Community Circle ends with this quote from Bowdoin professor Jeffrey Selinger:

“It’s worth looking into the idea that this is part of an entrepreneurial effort by culture warriors on the right … .”

The professor touches on key points. The group Parents Defending Education is not some coalition of citizens worried that public education will be diminished by some form of unlawful discrimination. They are one of several lobbying efforts well funded by sources like the Walton Family Foundation, the Koch brothers and Betsy DeVos. Other such groups include Moms for Liberty, the Independent Women’s Forum and Yes. Every Kid, whose main objective is defunding public schools on behalf of private education, not promoting quality of education. Staff of Parents Defending Education include people who worked for DeVos when she was Donald Trump’s education secretary and for organizations working to privatize public education.

So, it’s interesting that Professor Selinger uses the term “entrepreneurial” for these groups. They seem to be efforts both to move public money into the business of private schools, and, not incidentally, to employ out-of-work Republicans.

We need to understand that Parents Defending Education doesn’t really care about the BIPOC Community Circle. They want to end public education.

Joseph O’Donnell

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