This is becoming an increasingly familiar–and alarming –story. Charter advocates are pouring large amounts of money–more than $200,000–into local school board races, in districts where few are residents. They are targeting candidates who dare to question the expansion of charters...
The PAC dwarfs spending in county school board elections, where serious candidates typically have spent closer to $30,000. “What they’re doing could be very significant,” said Terry Christensen, professor emeritus at San Jose State and a specialist in state and local politics. Because so little is typically spent in a county school board race he said, “it wouldn’t take much to have an influence...”
Among the big donations to the PACs are $75,000 from the California Charter Schools Association Advocates; $50,000 from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings; $50,000 from Gap heir John J. Fisher; $40,000 from Emerson Collective, the nonprofit run by Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs; and $10,000 from Rocketship charter schools board member Timothy Ranzetta...
Cortright, who has raised $1,000, dared to oppose the Bullis charter school in Los Altos, which is known as the publicly funded private school for the children of the super-rich.
Concerned parents across the USA should also take heed: the battle going on in Los Altos is one that may come you your town as well. Boutique Charter Schools are on the rise and threaten to kick thousands of kids out of the schools they love, ripping apart some of the best communities in the country.
Bullis Charter School was founded by a small, vengeful group of millionaires and billionaires and their high-paid lawyers. The public school near them closed (it re-opened a few years later as Gardner Bullis School). This made them very angry.
Instead of starting a private school--trivial for people of these means--this group chose the nastiest, most divisive, most disruptive path their high-paid lawyers could dream up to get back at the community: they used the charter school laws to create a quasi private school and started suing the local School District.
Even though the school that was closed is now re-opened, they continue to fight the District and--get this--they even want to close the school that was re-opened, disrupting the education for hundreds of kids and damaging the local community.
Yay, charter schools. They're the bestest!
Our school board has a charter school leader on it. I'm pretty sure he lives out of town. There's a shit-ton of monied assholes in Silicon Valley and obviously their taxes are not high enough, because this crap is becoming epidemic.