An advisor to the Doug Ford government recently wrote in favour of charter schools, which critics say can be gateways to the privatization of schools. 

In early June, Jamil Jivani was hired to lead the Council on Equality of Opportunity, an anti-racism council to help young people overcome social and economic barriers. 

Jivani argues that charter schools can help “minority students close the achievement gap” in ways that public schools cannot. But according to experts such as Barb Silva, a spokesperson for the Support our Students advocacy group, “charters are simply a gateway to privatization. They get the public comfortable with exclusivity, prioritization and competition…with waiting lists, fees and shopping around for schools with so-called special programs.” She also says that since they receive public funding, they should be accountable to the public.

Silva argues that charter schools divert funding away from public schools and can actually turn students away, as opposed to the inclusive nature of public schools.

In California, for example, one charter school organization was caught in the biggest charter school scam for billing the state $80 million for non-existent expenses. One report found that millions of dollars of US taxpayers’ money was wasted on charter schools that never opened or shut down soon after opening. 

Ford’s education agenda has consistently levied cuts on public institutions, including public schools. He’s also advocated for larger class sizes and cancelled millions in school repairs.

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