AirBnB, Google, Twitter, Uber, Facebook, and SalesForce, some of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world are based right here is SF. Why can’t we put an initiative on the ballot to put a tax on them to pay for schools and other public goods.
Let’s work for a progressive tax on the extremely wealthy, rather than the proposed regressive parcel tax, which hurts working class homeowners in SF for whom an extra $200 per year is a lot to pay.
Make them pay on our terms, subject to public control, rather than on their terms, through pet philanthropic education projects like “the Primary School”, which will be opening soon in SF, and is jointly funded by the SFUSD (and likely the new parcel tax as well), and is a project in which the super wealthy call the shots.
SFUSD actively recruits big donors through its SPARK program. Can these funds be used for educator salaries and the supports for the classroom chosen by the people in the classroom? Why not? Isn’t the most important element in successful schools the actual people who are in the room working with the students?
Check out the list of donors to SPARK: How much money do they donate? What is the money paying for? Who decides how the money is spent? What do they actually mean by “innovation”?
Former Superintendent Carranza on launching the SPARK program.
Agendas and minutes for SPARK board meetings
SPARK Board of directors
Here are a few things I know about community schools.
At a UESF meeting earlier this year, it was talked about how the new SF school partly funded by Zuckerberg and Chan, “the Primary School”, will be a community school, and UESF should support (consider supporting? we didn’t vote on it) this effort. Is the survey asking for UESF members’ support for using parcel tax funds for this school? Remember only part of the parcel tax money goes to salaries, and part of it goes to the SFUSD. See my earlier post about who controls how parcel tax funds (tens of millions of dollars) are spent.
Will UESF members be canvassing and phone banking to raise money for a project of two of the richest folks in the world?
WTF? Hope I’m wrong.
There is a growing movement for community schools across the US and California right now, which is an attempt to support public schools and to push back against the wave of privatization that going on. The following are two examples.
California Alliance for Community Schools: UESF is part of this group, although we have mostly opted to NOT participate in state-wide actions. Here is the link to their founding event, and their platform. Note that this is not calling for partnerships with billionaires.
We Choose campaign: This is a rapidly growing campaign initiated by Journey for Justice, a group from Detroit. Here is the platform. I think they are in 23 states now. Again no billionaires involved.