Uncategorized

New PW investigation explores troubling links between charter school and political right

Policy Watch reporter Sarah Ovaska is out with a new Policy Watch Investigates piece this morning that examines some troubling links between a Rutherford County public charter school and an ultra-conservative, out-of-state philanthropist and political activist. Here’s the opening:

“The Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy, a public charter school in Rutherford County, is quick to promote the school’s high SAT test scores and international field trips to China, Europe and South America.

But not as widely advertised is the Western North Carolina public school’s connection to John Bryan, a retired Oregon business executive and significant funder of the conservative school choice movement.

Nor is the school’s annual diaper drive for a local anti-abortion religious group, an activity that an expert says violates the Constitutional separation of church and state.

Bryan’s $37 million family trust, the Challenge Foundation, contributes heavily and regularly to conservative causes like challenging global warming research and scaling back government in addition to lending its name to public schools like the Thomas Jefferson charter school.

He’s a national figure in libertarian circles when it comes to charter schools, and spoke last June about the push to expand charter schools at an annual retreat held by the billionaire Koch brothers, according to a copy of the retreat’s agenda
[2]
obtained by the Center for American Progress.

The connection between Bryan, charter schools and his giving to conservative, limited government causes isn’t surprising to David Faunce, a board member of Thomas Jefferson.

‘He’s an advocate for school choice and that’s where you tend to find the school choice movement, in those organizations,’ Faunce said.”

Read Ovaska’s entire article by clicking here.

Check Also

NC business owner explains need for paid leave law

In case you missed it earlier this week, ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Jim Womack has a reputation in North Carolina for being many things, but a conservationist isn’t one [...]

Just days after a North Carolina official tapped a Robeson County elementary for a controversial cha [...]

Two groups seeking state contracts to run struggling North Carolina schools have professional ties t [...]

North Carolinians will lose their “precious right to vote,” as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader [...]

The folks running the General Assembly reached a new low this week in their efforts to dismantle our [...]

National civil rights leaders call for the rejection of North Carolina’s Thomas Farr [Editor’s note: [...]

Budgets matter, both within government and inside each household across America, because they demons [...]

Why the legislature now operates this way and why it’s a big problem The North Carolina General Asse [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more