Documentary Exposes Hidden Costs of School Voucher Schemes
CEA, together with Connecticut College and New London-based nonprofit Re:publicEd, sponsored a free screening of the documentary Backpack Full of Cash, which takes a critical look at the movement to privatize schools.
Narrated by Matt Damon, the 90-minute film exposes the devastating effects of corporate-backed school reform on students, teachers, and whole communities. Filmed in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Nashville, and other major cities, Backpack Full of Cash shows the tragic consequences when school voucher schemes siphon taxpayer dollars to fund private, religious, for-profit CMO-run charter, and online schools, leaving public school students starved of resources.
Third-grade bilingual teacher Casey Miller (pictured at right), who teaches at New London’s Regional Multicultural Magnet School, attended the screening with her family. “This is a time when neighborhood public schools need more support and funding—not less. As a public school teacher, I would like to see a more equal, more equitable system so that all students can have access to a great education.”
“The reformers like to brag that New Haven is ground zero for them,” said social studies teacher Leslie Blatteau, who works in a New Haven public school.
Her colleague Chris Willems, a 15-year veteran teacher, said, “I have seen the political and economic moves that undermine our public schools and that don’t deliver on their rhetoric. We’re hoping to educate taxpayers on how they can stop the steady, consistent dismantling of public education nationwide and support high-quality public education that supports the whole child.”
To learn more about Backpack Full of Cash, join a follow-up community conversation, “The Future of Public Education,” on Tuesday, March 6, at 6 p.m. at All Souls Congregation, 19 Jay Street, New London. The event is free and open to the public; child care will be provided. For more information or to RSVP, call Mirna at 917-686-1098 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.