Danielle Holly writes in the NonProfit Quarterly that billionaires who put their philanthropic dollars into education are benefiting themselves, not children. How do they benefit? Their donations put them in control of what is supposed to be a democratic institution. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and dozens of other “philanthropists” have decided on the basis of their whims that schools need the change that their money buys or imposes.
Perhaps Holly would not be so blunt, but that is what her article says.
Two philosophical challenges have arisen with the nature of these investments. The first, which NPQ has discussed at length, is that it limits democratic control over the nation’s public education system. In effect, education philanthropy puts education program design in a few hands who are, by definition, outsiders, and often less expert and less informed than those who are doing the work. In the case of…
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