Tuesday July 18, 2017
When people in Reading think of fair treatment, the first image they think of is probably not Oklahoma-based organizations funded by billionaires suing public school teachers here in Pennsylvania. But that's exactly what is happening in the Reading School District ("City school district, union face lawsuit," Reading Eagle, June 3.)
The Fairness Center and Americans for Fair Treatment, both mentioned in the article, are organizations registered in Oklahoma at the same address. Despite this, they are bringing forth frivolous lawsuits in Pennsylvania, mostly against teachers. The Fairness Center shares office suites with the Commonwealth Foundation (also mentioned in the article) and the Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs, two right-wing political pressure organizations. The connection in all of these organizations is Matt Brouillette, previous president of the former and current president of the latter.
Americans for Fair Treatment describes itself as a national organization. Its board includes individuals from the Illinois Policy Institute, Michigan's Mackinac Center of Public Policy, Empower Mississippi and, wouldn't you have guessed it, the aforementioned Commonwealth Foundation. All these organizations are part of the nationwide right-wing State Policy Network, part of what Mother Jones describes as "the dark money ATM of the conservative movement." Among those funding these groups are the right-wing Scaife, Koch and DeVos foundations.
This is what an attack funded by the billionaire class looks like.
Executive director, Pennsylvania Spotlight
Attack on city schools motivated by politics