PTA organizations around Hillsborough County are sponsoring two free screenings of "Backpack Full of Cash," the documentary film about charter schools, and their growth at times of limited funding for traditional public schools.
The screenings will take place Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Villagio Cinema in Carrollwood, 7 p.m.; and Thursday, Sept. 20, at Tampa Theater in downtown Tampa, 7:30. Social events are planned before both shows.
"Backpack Full of Cash," is narrated by film start Matt Damon, whose mother, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, is an author and leading advocate for early childhood education.
It takes its title from a quote from Jeanne Allen, founder of the pro-choice Center for Education Reform. In interview for the film, Allen said: "Our children have a backpack full of cash, and the school should vie for the privilege of having that backpack turned over to them."
Allen later denounced the film and said her statement was used out of context.
Based largely in cities such as Philadelphia and New Orleans that have been impacted dramatically by the privatization of public education, the film explores charter school scandals and district-run schools that have suffered as funding has dwindled.
Approximately one in 10 Florida students now attend charter schools, with the same ratio in Hillsborough.
Tampa Theatre is at 711 N Franklin Street. Villagio is at 11778 N Dale Mabry Highway.