Pay to Play?

I was both disappointed and furious when I read the current cover story of this week’s Independent, “Schools of Thought.”

There are two reasons for my reaction to this alleged “Annual Education Guide” which looked at schools in our community in the time of COVID-19 by Leslie Dinaberg. First, she actual recommends that parents divert their children away from public schools, for the sole reason that these schools are still open (at least at the moment). Second, Santa Barbara Unified School District (which actually serves 75 percent of the children in the city of Santa Barbara) was not given any coverage at all. Of the schools that were covered, virtually all had advertisements running in this week’s issue. This reeks of a “pay to play” ethic, which is immoral.

The very fact that it was treated as the cover story and labeled a “feature” makes this even more repugnant. The senior management of your newspaper should feel ashamed.

Editors Note: We regret any confusion that may have occurred. As we make very clear in the issue’s introduction, to compose this special section, we asked the issue’s sponsors about what’s exciting in their schools and organizations, and then produced the editorial content independently. The cover image depicts a program that serves public school students, and the issue prominently features Santa Barbara City College, a proudly public institution. Additionally, the schools featured are open to students at this time, whereas the public school systems are strictly digital for now. We look forward to seeing all students return to school when safe. 


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