In an interesting turn, the public schools of New York have become the beneficiaries of fashionable philanthropy dollars. Reports the NYTimes “New money or old, donors have been enthusiastic enough to write seven- and eight-figure checks. As a result, the school system has been the largest beneficiary in a mayoralty that has reached to the private sector, strategically and aggressively, for all sorts of support….While Mr. Bloomberg’s personal philanthropy has turned sharply toward grass-roots organizations in recent years, with the obvious political benefits, the donations by his friends and acquaintances in the clubby world of wealthy philanthropists have turned just as markedly toward the mayor’s No. 1 priority: public education.”
This might be looked at as a form of de facto privatization, a huge waste of otherwise valuable philanthropic efforts, or a devastating indictment of the public system that can neither fund or manage itself. Interesting that none of these points seem to be noticed by those commenting on the trend.