MRH Announces Free Showing of Pro-Public Education Film
Is privatization of education threatening to dismantle the public education system as we know it?
That's the contention within a documentary film titled "Backpack Full of Cash," which the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District will present at no charge to the public on February 15, 2018. The screening will take place in the High School/Middle School Auditorium, 7539 Manchester Road, Maplewood, MO 63143. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.; the movie begins at 7 p.m.
Narrated by Matt Damon, this feature-length documentary explores the growing privatization of public schools and the resulting impact on America’s most vulnerable children. Filmed in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Nashville and other cities, it takes viewers through the tumultuous 2013-14 school year, exposing the world of education “reform” where public education -- starved of resources -- hangs in the balance.
Before the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the appointment of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, filmmakers Sarah Mondale and Vera Aronow couldn’t have known that the national education debate would dramatically shift to the very issues at the heart of their film: charter schools, vouchers and privatization. Now, this timely new documentary takes viewers into the world of market-based education “reform”.
"Backpack Full of Cash" is a cautionary tale about how, in cities like Philadelphia, privatization and funding cuts have had a devastating impact on public schools, and the most vulnerable children who rely on them. The film also showcases a model for improving schools -- a well-resourced public school system in Union City, New Jersey, where poor kids are getting a high quality education without charters or vouchers.
"Backpack Full of Cash" features genuine heroes such as the principals, teachers, activists, parents and most hearteningly, students who are fighting for their education. Education writer David Kirp, former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, and policy expert Linda Darling Hammond are among the national thought leaders who provide analysis in the film. "Backpack" builds a case for public education as a basic civil right.
Following the MRH screening, attendees are urged to remain in the auditorium for a panel discussion featuring representatives of the Missouri State School Board and the state Charter School Commission.
For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.