Follow the money: How billionaire-funded ed reform groups push school privatization

Education blogger Valerie Strauss of The Washington Post has highlighted a new story by the Center for Public Integrity that reveals how ed reform groups, which are by and large funded by wealthy philanthropists, are pouring money into mostly conservative candidates’ races for office across the country.

How powerful are organizations such as  Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst and other like-minded groups that support charter schools, voucher programs and the weakening of teachers unions.?

The Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organization that works to reveal abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of public trust by public and private institutions, takes a look at this issue in a new post on its Web site, ”Education groups battle teachers unions in state races.” It reveals the growing power of the purse of “education reform” organizations that are funded by wealthy philanthropists and that are spending big bucks to support mostly conservative candidates running for local and state offices around the country.

And get this: Federal tax rules allow them to operate without revealing from whom they get their money, meaning the public doesn’t know who is funding many candidates running for public office.

Read the entire story here, which chronicles how some of the biggest spenders — the American Federation for Children, 50CAN, Stand for Children and Democrats for Education Reform as well as the Walton Family and Broad —  have poured loads of money into local and state elections, with the end goal of promoting school privatization.

Some of that money has made its way into North Carolina — for more about that, click here and here.

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