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The blog started today with an account of the paltry amounts of money that our leading edu-philanthropists are contributing to alleviate the suffering of students and families during this crisis and to help public schools through the crisis.
By contrast, some principals and teachers in the Oakland Education Association have agreed to give half or all of their stimulus checks to the families of undocumented workers, who will receive nothing. In proportion to their wealth, the teachers and principals are about a million times more generous than the billionaires.
The educators at the Oakland Unified School District launched the Stimulus Pledge campaign Thursday in response to the enormous stress and despair they say they are witnessing among immigrant parents who have lost all income under shelter-in-place orders, but are left out of unemployment insurance and many other benefits.
“We are in contact with our families every day and what we are hearing is heartbreaking,” said Anita Iverson-Comelo, a principal at Bridges Academy at Melrose, in East Oakland. “We feel like we have to do something.”
At least eight teachers at Bridges Academy, including some making less than $50,000 per year, have pledged all or part of their stimulus checks, said Iverson-Comelo. She and six other principals, whose higher salaries might disqualify them from the coronavirus federal cash aid, also plan to donate.
Many families have no income at all and rely for food on the district’s “grab and go” food program. They sure could use some help from Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg or Reed Hastings or Jeff Bezos.
Speaking of billionaires, Robert Reich said on Twitter that Jeff Bezos has increased his net worth by $24 billion during the crisis but still won’t give Amazon workers paid sick leave.
Feeding the hungry is not on the billionaires’ agenda. It’s not innovative. It’s not a game-changer.
It’s an act of love.