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Billionaire charter school advocates have found a new target for their political contributions: cities where the mayor controls the schools.
The oligarchs poured millions of dollars into the New York City mayoral race. They bet on the early leaders, Andrew Yang and Eric Adams. Their goal: more charter schools. As Yang slipped in the polls, they concentrated their gifts to Adams. Adams placed first but did not win a majority so we will wait to see who won the city’s first ranked-choice election.
Now the oligarchs are giving generously in the Boston mayoral race. Boston has mayoral control of the schools, and the 1% want more charter schools. Their current favorite is Andrea Campbell. But that could change if she polls poorly.
Political science Professor Maurice Cunningham, an expert on following the money, shows that the oligarchs are mostly the same as those who contributed to the 2016 referendum on charter expansion. The oligarchs lost that one, which was financed largely by the Waltons.
It is curious to find that billionaire Reed Hastings of California is so deeply concerned about the next mayor of Boston. Hastings has said that all local school boards should be eliminated and replaced by private management. Massachusetts is a state that prizes its school committees.
Cunningham begins and ends his post with a quote from Louis Brandeis:
Brandeis once said “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”