Education policy is dominated today by conversations about vouchers, or public money going to private schools.  But what I see all around me is the opposite phenomenon, private money being given to public schools.  Large foundations (Gates, Broad, Carnegie, and so on), large corporations (Wells Fargo, Target), and individuals all give money in large amounts to public schools.  The media celebrates this as an example of how the efforts of private actors are supporting public institutions, how parents are acting on behalf of their children in bolstering public schools in an era of fiscal crisis.  This is all true.  But I see the potential for a very large downside to this new phenomenon.