Bill Gates to Stand for Children, "How do I fund thee? Let me count the ways."
While Oregonian parents, students and educators are crying in their drinks over the failed attempt to fund public education through Measure 97, the unfunded mandate Measure 98 skated by with very little scrutiny. Oregon's Measure 98 passed with ease. Proponents of the measure say it will lower dropout rates and raise graduation rates. Opponents of the measure, of which Stand for Children surrogates said do not exist, see its passage as a gift to SFC to control a sizable carve-out of the state education budget. Stand for Children, through it's PAC and ancillary organizations, Oregonians for High School Success and YES on 98 campaign spent ~$6 mullion to gain that control. PAA Oregon has accused the YES on 98 campaign of misleading the public about the true nature of the measure. The YES campaign refused to debate us or even participate in on-air broadcasts that would expose the truth about the measure.
Stand for Children and Stand for Children Leadership Center receive multi-million dollar contributions from billionaires pompously feigning concern over our poor public schools. As Peter Buffet, son of Warren, apologetically states in his New York Times Op-Ed: The Charitable-Industrial Complex:
"As more lives and communities are destroyed by the system that creates vast amounts of wealth for the few, the more heroic it sounds to “give back.” It’s what I would call 'conscience laundering' — feeling better about accumulating more than any one person could possibly need to live on by sprinkling a little around as an act of charity."
The Gates Foundation, however, prefers a more covert method of giving. While it is true that million-dollar- plus donations are made directly to SFC by Gates, even more money is donated, pass-through style, by other foundations and nonprofit organizations. For example, the Gates Foundation gives a donation to the Chalkboard Project which then gives that donation to Stand for Children. Because nonprofits like SFC are not required to disclose their donors, it can be difficult to find out where its money comes from. The image below shows some connections we were able to find although it is likely that the list is incomplete. Whether Bill Gates is merely "laundering his conscience" or hiding his extensive involvement in public school reform by "laundering money" through third parties, the process circumvents parent involvement.
Truly grassroots organizations like Parents Across America Oregon do not have the money or the power to take on astroturf organizations like Stand for Children, and even if we did, we don't want to spend our money reacting to the arrogant, ill-advised whims of Bill Gates. We want our hard-earned dollars to go directly to schools for more professional teachers, librarians, and counselors, as well as and programs proven to be highly effective in educating kids.
Small nonprofit organizations like Parents Across America Oregon cannot compete against puppet organizations backed by behemoth donors -- nor should we have to. As long as Bill Gates and his cronies are permitted to fund puppet-profit organizations to do their bidding, the rich and powerful will have open access to our schools and our children. This must stop!