Saturday, October 08, 2016
Enemies of public schools pour nearly $700,000 into Greitens campaign
A search of Missouri Ethics Commission documents shows that Greitens has received at least $695,000 with a record of attacking public schools and teachers while pushing for charter schools and privatization.
Among those contributing to Greitens:
$275,000 from Bernard Marcus, founder of Home Depot. Marcus gave $250,000 to the misnamed Families for Better Public Schools, a pro-charter committee in Georgia. (The only thing public about charter schools is that they drain taxpayer money from public schools. The public has no say in how the schools are operated, they do not have publicly elected boards, and board meetings are seldom, if ever, open to the public.)
$50,000 from Ron Weiser, one of the top contributors to the Great Lakes Education Project, an advocacy group for expanding so-called school choice and charter schools.
$10,000 from Linda McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
$125,000 from Julian Robertson, founder of Tiger Management, who gave $25 million to the Success Academy charter schools.
$100,000 from Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a private equity multi-millionaire who started the Rauner College Prep Charter Schools. Rauner recently said, "Half of Chicago Public School teachers are virtually illiterate."
$100,000 (five $20,000 contributions) from the DeVos family of Michigan, which originally found the pro-voucher group All Children Matter and Amway. Dick DeVos began the effort to undermine public schools by calling them "government schools."
$10,000 from Bill Bloomfield, chairman of Baron Real Estate, who spent more than three million dollars trying unsuccessfully to elect former charter school executive Marshall Tuck as state superintendent of public instruction in California and contributed $2.1 million to Ed Voice, which fights teacher tenure laws.
$25,000 from Marlene Ricketts, Chicago Cubs owner. The Cubs charity contributes considerable money to Chicago charter schools.
The amount of money Greitens has received from public education foes may be far greater than the contributions listed above.
The Republican Governors Association-Missouri has contributed $6 million to Greitens, funneling money from the Republican Governors Association a 527c organization that does not reveal its donors.
At this point, Missourians also have no way of knowing who contributed to the $1,975,000 Greitens received from a group calling itself Seals for Truth, though that group is not 527c and will have to list its donors on its quarterly financial report which is due to the FEC by October 15. The contribution was the largest in Missouri history, until Greitens received $2.5 million from Republican Governors Association-Missouri, the largest of five contributions from the committee.
Greitens' website lists a one-paragraph statement on his beliefs on education:
Too many Missouri children and parents are trapped in failing schools. I’ll lead efforts to provide more choices and opportunities for kids who need it most.
Ironically, the tens of millions Greitens has received from out-of-state sources would go a long way toward alleviating the poverty that is responsible for many of the ills that face public education.