It’s happening in local school board races around the nation.

Out-of-state money is pouring in to capture seats on local school boards.

The money comes from billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and Reed Hastings, owner of Netflix, and Alice Walton of the Walmart family. They fund candidates who support privatization of public education. Their resources overwhelm local candidates.

The first high-profile race to attract big money was last year in Denver, when large amounts of money arrived from businessmen with no previous interest in school board races, targeted to defeat Emily Sirota, a Denver mom. Sirota threatened control by hard-line privatizers.

Earlier this year, millions of dollars were spent by out-of-state donors to hand control of the Louisiana state school board to Governor Jindal, so he could pursue his privatization plans.

In Washington State, the charter referendum is financed by a handful of billionaires, some local, like Bill Gates, some not, like Alice Walton of Arkansas.

In Georgia, the charter referendum is funded almost entirely by out-of-state donors like Walton of Arkansas.

Now in little Los Altos, California, out-of-state money is targeting a charter school critic with negative ads. The school board member had raised questions about a charter school serving some of the wealthiest residents of the district.

The privatization movement may not have a popular base, but it is adept at marshaling big money to buy support and elections. The only way to stop them is to build an informed public.