Target: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson
Goal: Don’t let private companies gain control over state’s public schools.
Arkansas public schools will soon be opened up for privatization with the full approval of state governor Asa Hutchinson if legislation written by Walmart lobbyists makes it past the state legislature and arrives on his desk. This is a terrifying encroachment on our public school system by private corporations. Demand that Governor Hutchinson not approve this legislation.
Governor Hutchinson has already gone on record saying that he would back the proposal in question, House Bill 1733, if it came to him for his signature. The bill was written by lobbyists with the Walton Family Foundation—the same people who own Walmart—and introduced into the legislature by the chair of the state House Education Committee, Representative Bruce Cozart.
This bill would shake up the very foundation of Arkansas’ schools. It would allow the creation of an “achievement school district” that could subsume any school district in the state that was determined to be in “academic distress,” and give the state’s education commissioner the authority to contract out the running of this conglomerated district to “one or more not-for-profit entities.” It would not be required to have a school board, or even employ fully-licensed teachers.
Public schools should remain just that: public. They should not fall into the hands of private corporations. Sign the petition below to demand that Governor Hutchinson revoke his support for this legislation and refuse to sign it into law.
Dear Governor Hutchinson,
I am writing you today regarding House Bill 1733. You have publicly stated that you will back it if it makes its way through the legislature to your desk. I would like you to reconsider that support.
This bill is nothing but a shameless attempt by private corporations to grasp more power than they already have in this country and brainwash the next generation of Americans. Indeed, it was written entirely by lobbyists from the private Walton Family Foundation–the philanthropic arm of one of the richest and most powerful corporate family dynasties in the United States.
This is not some organic idea that a well-meaning public servant introduced because they thought it would be for the greater good—this is an orchestrated campaign by a corporation that has bought access to your state’s political system through Representative Bruce Cozart. That in and of itself should be a massive red flag.
America’s public schools are are meant to be publicly run and publicly governed. No matter what reason you and other supporters of this bill have come up with to justify privatization in the face of that reality, it nonetheless constitutes a fundamental undermining of the principle. I demand that you reverse your position on this bill and revoke all support for it. It should never become the law of Arkansas.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Walmart via Flickr