Public Education Enemy
- Public Education Enemy
In 2001, the Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation gave $20,000 to
Black Alliance for Education Options to write the group's amicus
brief in the Cleveland voucher case argued before the Supreme
It also gave $20,800. to BAEO's Indiana chapter. The Friedman
Foundation gave a total of $70,000 to Marquette University for a
symposium on "Educational Options for African Americans" that
was run by BAEO.
Such meetings provided Glen Fuller's base for launching BAEO.
In 2000, The Friedman Foundation gave $230,000 - over a quarter
of its grant money for the year - to AERC to cover production of
five television and four radio commercials for BAEO.
Rightwing economist Milton Friedman and his wife Rose founded
the Friedman Foundation in 1996 "as the first national
foundation devoted exclusively to promoting parental choice."
Friedman has made no attempt to hide his contempt for public
education, which he wishes to eliminate.
The Friedman Foundation promotes vouchers on a number of fronts.
The group provides financial grants to groups like BAEO, but it
also does a great deal of pro-voucher work directly out of its
The Foundation spent over $3 million from 1999-2000 on its own
ad campaigns promoting vouchers in California, Florida, Indiana,
Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, and Washington - lots of
lies about public education.
Milton Friedman is credited with laying the original academic
framework for voucher theory in the 1950's. Friedman's academic
work focuses more on the financial profits school privatization
could reap rather than the purported assistance it could offer
low-income students in failing schools - the interest BAEO
purports to represent.
In 1995 Friedman wrote, "the privatization of schooling would
produce a new, highly active and profitable private industry."
The Friedman Foundation had assets totaling $5.3 million in
1999, and also received $100,000 from the Walton Foundation in
1999 and 2000. J. Patrick Rooney, the wealthy voucher backer,
also sits on the Friedman Foundation Board.
Rooney is also associated with the pro-voucher Greater
Educational Opportunities Foundation, with which three BAEO
board members are affiliated.