Is Public Education For Sale?

From The Answer Sheet in the Washington Post, a column about the high funding by a small group of wealthy people for I-1240.  She asks some good questions. 

Another billionaire occupies the No 2 spot — Alice Walton of Walmart Stores, Inc., fame, who, unlike Gates, doesn’t live in the state. Her Oct. 5 donation is listed at $1.1 million. She is also fourth on the list, with a July 11 donation of $600,000, giving her an aggregate total of $1.7 million.

Walton is listed on the Public Disclosure Commission form as a resident of Bentonville, Ark., so you might wonder why she cares so much about charter schools in Washington state. The Walton Family Foundation has been instrumental in funding charter school and voucher initiatives around the country over the past several years.

She also notes this power couple:
At No. 8 is the fabulously wealthy Anne Dinning, a powerhouse at the hedge fund giant DeShaw & Co., who gave $250,000, as did her husband, Michael Wolf, for a total of half a million for the couple. They live in New York. Wolf is No. 10 on the list.

She goes on: 

This all helps illustrate what education historian Diane Ravitch referred to as “the billionaire boy’s club” (which apparently has expanded to include females) in her bestselling book, “The Life and Death of the Great American School System,” and her in subsequent writings. In this post, she wrote: “Today, the question of democracy looms large as we see increasing efforts to privatize the control of public schools. There is an even more worrisome and allied trend, and that is the growing influence of money in education politics at the state and local levels.”

Washington state is only one example.

Walmart, Netflicks, hedge fund companies and all from out of state - gee, I wonder why they are interested in Washington State public education.

It seems apparent that the Yes campaign is going to run virtually no ground game except to go to the debates (where they are now launching personal attacks so you have to wonder about their confidence because you generally go personal if your main argument is weak).

The ballots drop somewhere around October 17-19th.  That's when you'll start seeing the tsunami of media ads -radio, Internet and tv - for 1240. 

At least you'll know who is funding it all.


dan dempsey said…
As Bill Bradley has stated:
Given the rulings of the US Supreme Court, "A Constitutional Amendment" is needed to limit donations"

This is absurd.
whole boat load of yes ads during the Seahawk game yesterday. really pushing that charters will make everything better for struggling students.

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