Walton Family Foundation put $3.8 million in Chicago charters in 2012 alone!... World's biggest union busters touts Chicago charter schools

Anyone who still wants to believe that the main purpose of Chicago's failing charter schools is to help inner city children learn should consider who is funding the ever expanding CPS privatization efforts via charter schools. The world's most infamous union-busting corporation — Wal-Mart— has been investing millions in Chicago charters since the last century, and is adding to its investments in Chicago even as public schools are being closed (and charters expanded).

On January 10, 2012, WBEZ reported:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (above center) hosted one of dozens of charter school publicity stunts on December 16, 2011 at the "Pritzker Campus" of Noble Street Charter Schools. Although Rahm Emanuel and the charters schools' corporate supporters claim that the Noble Street charters have the "secret sauce" for urban success, Noble Street routinely cooks its test score and other books for publicity by kicking out kids who will score low and sending them back, often under enormous debt loads, to the city's real public schools. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Foundation gives record amount to new schools in Chicago. Walton Family Foundation grants Chicago charters record $3.8 million in 2012. January 8, 2013. By: Becky Vevea

Privately run charter schools in Chicago are benefitting from a record gift, even as Chicago Public School officials develop plans to shut down traditional schools.

The Walton Family Foundation today announced it invested a record $3.8 million in new Chicago charter schools—the largest amount given to any city in 2012.

The money was awarded throughout last year, and will cover the start-up costs for 13 schools.

Ed Kirby, the deputy director of the foundation's education reform efforts, said Chicago is an important city in the charter school movement.

“We’re very confident in the city’s leadership, particularly the mayor to help expand and strengthen the charter sector in Chicago,” Kirby said.

The foundation, started by the owners of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, has given more than $22 million to new Chicago charter schools since 1997 and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has publicly advocated for charters as a way of improving the school system despite charters' overall lackluster performance.

Teachers, parents and labor leaders have actively criticized charter schools, saying they push out hard-to-reach students.

School officials say closing schools is necessary to address next year’s budget shortfall, but they remain committed to opening new schools.


Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

5 + 3 =