The billionaire boys (and girl) club for charter schools | Arkansas Blog

Monday, October 22, 2012

The billionaire boys (and girl) club for charter schools

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 9:23 AM

CHARTER BACKER: Brother Jim Walton has been most identified with charter school backing in Arkansas. Alice Walton has spent heavily in Washington.
  • CHARTER BACKER: Brother Jim Walton has been most identified with charter school backing in Arkansas. Alice Walton has spent heavily in Washington.
The charter school movement in Arkansas and everywhere has been accurately characterized as the Billionaire Boys Club. In Arkansas, Walton, Murphy, Stephens and Hussman money is the motive power of legislation to bust what few unions remain in Arkansas classrooms and promote charter schools (backers need not be proven) and other forms of "choice," with vouchers the ultimate game.

But it probably should says Boys and Girls Club, too.

Here's a sharp illustration from Washington state, where an intitiative would allow expansion of charter schools. I have to laugh at the backers' claim of "stric accountability." That was promised in Arkansas, too. It has been somewhat more true in recent years, much to the unhappiness of the billionaires, who probably have ideas about ridding the state Education Department and its board of those who have insisted on accountability.

In any case, in Washington, 91 percent of the $8.9 million raised to promote the charter initiative came from just 10 people. (You have a spare $800,000, don't you?)

Although wealthy donors pour millions into Washington state ballot measures each election season, what's unusual about the charter school campaign is that it depends almost entirely on big-money contributions from donors with no obvious financial interest in the outcome. Bill Gates contributed $3 million, one-third of the overall campaign donations. Millions more came from Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, and Mike and Jackie Bezos, the parents of Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.

Tags: , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Where's the outrage?

    Am I the only person, apart from federal prosecutors, outraged about the criminal enterprise that inveigled itself into a privileged position as an Arkansas taxpayer-financed human services provider to the tune, today, of $43 million a year?
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Where's the outrage?

    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Rutledge opponent hits her socializing with corporate interests

    Mike Lee, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, has criticized Attorney General Leslie Rutledge over recent reports of her participation at private meetings where corporate interests make big contributions to a political group she heads for access to state legal officers.
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel applauds Trump's EPA choice of climate change denier Scott Pruitt

    Dustin McDaniel gives the thumbs up to a man set to dismantle EPA regulations.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Greenbrier's paddling of student protester goes worldwide

    The paddling of Greenbrier High School students who joined in te national school walkout Wednesday has produced headlines worldwide.
    • Mar 17, 2018
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation