Should Billionaire Ed Reformers Buy State Superintendent Race?

KUOW has a story on the spending in the state superintendent race and spending for Erin Jones' campaign is ahead of Chris Reykdal.
One of the largest independent expenditures in Washington state elections this year has come in the race for schools chief: the education reform organization Stand for Children's PAC has bought $164,887 worth of mailers for the Erin Jones campaign for Superintendent of Public Instruction. The PAC spent another $12,809 yesterday on last-minute robocalls for Jones's campaign.
Stand for Children WA PAC is funded almost entirely by just a few players: Connie Ballmer, wife of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer; Reed Hastings, the California-based founder of Netflix; Washington State Charter Schools Association's WA Charter Action PAC, which is itself funded primarily by Connie and Steve Ballmer; and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's company, Vulcan.
 As Reykdal notes (and I agree) that out-of-state money is troubling.  Reed Hastings, head of Netflix, has massively tried to change the course of public education in California and now he's trying in Washington state?

Along with deep pocketbooks, the donors to Stand for Children WA PAC share in common a history of supporting charter schools. Hastings, Ms. Ballmer and Vulcan were among the largest contributors to the state’s charter school initiative four years ago. The Stand PAC has also given heavily to defeat the state Supreme Court justice Barbara Madsen, who wrote last year’s decision finding that charter law unconstitutional.
Yes, these are ed reform folks and Erin Jones is their candidate (and that's for a good reason.) 


Anonymous said…
The Tacoma News Tribune endorsed Jones.

""It hasn’t all been accolades. Jones was recently criticized for comments she made about the appropriateness of gender and sexual orientation discussions in the kindergarten classroom. She was even “unendorsed” by The Stranger, a Seattle publication, because of them.

But look at how she lives her life, and you’ll see advocacy for the LGBTQ community both professionally and personally. Two young adults who are gay call her mom, and nothing in her 25-year career points to exclusion or discrimination.

Read more here: "

The stranger is a one issue paper, LGBTQ rights, which is fine, but racial justice comes in second there and Jones is all about racial justice.

Jones has Jill Geary and Rita Jones donating whilst Reykdal accepted $2000 from the Liquor Distributors. He should give it back.

Check them out at:

Booze Hater
Okay, BH. That's all fine but...

1) On the point of how she lived her life, she also made a signed pledge to Young Life that she didn't lead a "gay lifestyle" and neither did her husband. This was to be a YL leader. Then she did the Christian thing (the right thing) and took those two young people in her home.

However, is her word not her bond? Does she get to pick and choose what she will abide by or not? Is that how she will interpret WA state laws?

2) Both Reykdal and Jones have media endorsements.

3) You can cherry-pick donations all you want but liquor distributors are not ed reformers. They are not out-of-state ed reformers. Reykdal has plenty of single donors of all stripes.

It DOES matter who is pouring money into electing Jones.
Double Talk said…
Stand for Children knows, darn well, that Reykdal would not support efforts to expand privatization. This is another good idea to Vote for Reykdal.

First Jones states she doesn't support charter schools.Then, Jones states you can't say "HELL NO" to charter schools:

"My stance has always been - I do not believe charter schools are THE answer to closing the opportunity gap. I was concerned that in this season of incredible gaps in funding, we should not be having conversations about funding another system. I have said I believe all schools should answer to the public. With that being said, we can't just say "HELL, NO" to charter schools without a willingness to address the ever-growing achievement/opportunity gap and the school-to-prison pipeline, which are ravaging communities of color in Washington state."

Which way is it???

Does Jones not understand what is happening around the country?

Vote Reykdal. Stand for Children understands that Reykdal can't be bought.

Voting Reykdal said…
I have noted that FUSE now leans towards Reykdal. As well, he has been endorsed by The Stranger, Seattle Weekly, Tri-City Herald, The Olympian and more.

Erin Jones has received over $200,000 (roughly 1/2 her total money) in individual donations and Independent Expenditures from a handful of very rich people who want to privatize our public education system.

This race is no different than the Supreme Court race. A few wealthy individuals want to buy this office.

According to Reykdal's endorsement list, other well respected Seattle School Board members have endorsed.endorsed Reykdal.
Double Talk said…
Seattle Times Claudia Rowe claims Jones remains equivocal on charter schools.

"Many of Jones’ wealthiest supporters — like David and Patricia Nierenberg, Lynn and Howard Behar and the Vulcan Corporation — have pushed for charter schools, though Jones herself remains equivocal on the publicly funded, privately operated institutions."

I agree.
Voting Reykdal said…
"During the past three weeks Jones has collected $50,000 in new donations, about half from deep-pocketed financiers and developers, for a total of $236,326."

Unknown said…
Unions are pouring money into CR's campaign. Unions that have proven that they do not value diversity.
CR is not qualified for the position and has made is way due to his privilege.
I fear for Students of Color with him in the Office. My job will become a lot harder.

Other well respected Seattle School Board Members have endorsed Erin Jones.

If Schools did what they are supposed to do we would not be facing a threat from Charter Schools. We need to focus on the correct things to stop the threat of Charters.
Anonymous said…
I don't expect to agree all the time with either candidate. I think both could do a good job which is more than I can say for the current and recent past OSPI heads, in which bureaucracy not students have been the top priority. We're lucky to have 2 decent choices.

Already Voted
Voting Reykdal said…
I am going to push-back because it is important to recognize that BOTH candidates have overcome adversity and BOTH candidates have risen to a place in which they can run for a state wide office.

Reykdal has worked incredibly hard to support disadvantaged students. Here is his resume:

"We pushed to eliminate barriers to children's access to mental health services (HB 2439 & HB 2373), we created a comprehensive suicide prevention program model for schools to use (HB 2439), we created a policy to protect student data privacy (HB 1495), we fought for increased supports for students with disabilities in their transition out of high school (HB 2409 & HB 1735), we expanded dual credit opportunities (HB 1546), we increased supports for homeless students (HB 1682 & HB 1436), and we increased per student funding by $2,000!
We also passed the Educational Opportunity Gap bill (HB 1541), a huge milestone in the fight to close the Opportunity Gap for students of color, students in poverty, and other underserved students. I take no singular credit for any of this, not even the bills I prime-sponsored. It takes team work and incredible advocates to achieve policy and budget success."

Reykdal is also supported by the highly respected State Representative Sharon Tomiko- Santos.Tomiko Santos has worked with Reykdal and is a tireless advocate.

Anonymous said…
"CR is not qualified for the position and has made is way due to his privilege."
Rita, I must disagree, Sharon Tomiko-Santos endorses him as do many others. They are both qualified, but actually think if anything Erin Jones (ivy educated, schooled overseas, not growing up dirt poor like Reykdal) fits more of an economic privilege description. Why do you define privilege only one way and so narrowly?
Voting Reykdal said…

"CR is not qualified for the position and has made is way due to his privilege"

Reykdal was born to parents with an 8th grade education and there were issues with alcohol. His siblings spent time in foster care.

Reykdal made his way because he has grit and caring teachers/coaches. Reykdal was impacted by his early life and he has spent his entire adult life trying to improve the lives of students. Over the decades he has been a teacher, school board member and legislator (Vice chair of the House Education Committee- and more).
seattle citizen said…
Ms. Green, you state that "unions have proven that they do not value diversity." I beg to differ. Wht, just recently the SEA rank and file pushed hard on the district for the creation of district-supported Race and Equity Teams in buildings. Those are expanding and doing good work.
I would ask you to either provide sources for your statement about "the unions" being against diversity or be acknowledged for disrespecting the hard work, at least in SPS, of some 3,000 union members who work hard to address race in our society and in our schools.
Can you tell us how the Seattle Education Association membership devalues diversity?
seattle citizen said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just Saying said…
I've found Jones supporters aren't strong on facts.
Anonymous said…
At 11 PM - Reykdal leads Jones by about 37,000 votes.

-- Dan Dempsey

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