The Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) seemed to come out of nowhere. As soon as it surfaced, it was buying up huge blocks of television advertising time around the nation for a series of spots featuring African-American parents talking about the importance of school vouchers. Yet behind BAEO was a handful of wealthy right-wing foundations and individuals who have funded the school voucher movement for decades.
Over the past 11 months, the school voucher movement has suffered one major political setback after another. Last November, Michigan and California became the latest states in which voters decisively defeated voucher initiatives. This spring, the Wisconsin Legislature refused to support a proposal to significantly expand the Milwaukee voucher plan—the nation’s longest-running, publicly funded voucher program.