Senator Rand Paul, and best friend to the Civil Rights movement, posted this photo of himself standing with students of the West End School– “a free, private, college preparatory elementary and middle school for at-risk young men.”
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) April 28, 2014
A little background on the West End School: “The school opened its doors in 2005 because of the growing need for alternative forms of education, particularly for the young men in our community.”
That “growing need” stems from criminal cuts to education funding in Kentucky for public schools. For instance, at Kerrick Elementary School, Goal Clarity Coach Gina Ziegler says that “in some cases, students have been learning from textbooks that are at least 10 years old,” with students “not allowed to take books home because the school simply can’t afford to lose them or have them damaged.”
“I’ve seen classrooms where four kids are sharing one book because they are so old and so torn, that we have six copies of books for 24 students,” Ziegler says.
But back to West End-
“The school does not accept students with therapeutic counseling needs or serious learning differences.”
So, it’s a defacto segregated school that picks winners and losers, but considers itself a winner in turning around troubled youth who are spit out of public education, probably because they’re sharing tattered textbooks that are over ten years old!
“As a free boarding school the West End School seeks financial gifts and volunteer assistance.”
Those “financial gifts” also pay the salary of current Chairman of West End– Paul Perconti– who was also the CEO of Thornton Oil Corporation during the 90′s, and later indicted for embezzlement and misleading the company over a bad oil-futures trading scheme.
This is the model for education being championed by Sen. Rand Paul: Starve public schools and blame them for their failures to feed the beast of crony capitalism.
Photo-op with “troubled youths,” sprinkle with some ‘freedom and liberty’ dust, and you too can get an “education” if the billionaires are feeling charitable that year.
And when you graduate, you can look forward to social and economic disenfranchisement disguised as philanthropy, and maybe your vote will be counted at the polls. Who knows? All depends on the charity of billionaires, who, of course, will not tolerate any teaching of topics deemed unfit for learnin’.
I’m sure Rand Paul can go far spreading the message of ‘school choice’ when public schools are under attack, or imparting the wisdom of “how we can spur econ growth in depressed areas through less taxes, more freedom.” But I’d just love to be a fly on the wall when he has to tell these kids how President Barack Obama is the enemy of progress, holding them back from all that free-market ‘freedom and liberty’ Rand Paul loves so much.