Important New Study Shows How Charter School Expansion Ruins School District Budgets


Across West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona and Colorado, school teachers have been striking all spring to call attention to their miserably low salaries and consequent teacher shortages in their states. Teachers have also been showing us the deplorable conditions in their schools—elimination of librarians and nurses—swelling class sizes and outrageous caseloads for school counselors.

The teachers’ mass walkouts have alerted us to the impact of the great recession on states’ revenues and especially to the all-Red states that have continued to cut taxes even as their state education budgets collapsed.

But there are other contributing factors to the crisis to which teachers have been calling our attention. This morning, In the Public Interest (ITPI) released Breaking Point: The Cost of Charter Schools for Public School Districts, an important and very readable report on another primary contributor to school districts’ financial woes: the massive growth of charter schools in the…

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Known Weapons Trafficker, Oliver North will now lead the National Rifle Association

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

On Monday, it was announced that former National Security Council aide, Oliver North, will be the new President of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

This choice by the NRA, in many ways, makes a great deal of sense, considering the status that North has within right-wing circles. North is often seen as a “true patriot” by those who identify as conservatives, since he has been a staunch supporter of US imperialism in countries like Vietnam, El Salvador, Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition, North embraces many other conservative values, such as his support for the anti-abortion group, the National Right to Life. In fact, North was the featured speaker at a Right to Life conference held in Grand Rapids in 2002. North’s visit was greeted by several dozen protestors outside of DeVos Hall. 

However, North is best known as a member of President Reagan’s National Security Council in the 1980s…

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