An article in a Georgia newspaper identifies the money behind the charter referendum.

Remember that Governor Nathan Deal wants the power to create a state commission to approve charters even though the local school board turns them down. This is based on ALEC model legislation. It serves corporate interests while spurning local control.

The advocates raised almost half a million dollars as of September 1. Almost all of that money came from out of state donors. A big donor was Alice Walton of the Walmart family in Arkansas, who is also a big contributor to the charter campaign in Washington State.

At the same time, the opposition to the referendum had raised less than $90,000, and there were no big donors.

On this charter issue, big donors are swamping local democracy. We seem to be moving rapidly back to the age of the robber barons, only this time it’s the schools they want to buy, not the railroads or other basic industries (they have already outsourced most of them).