I noticed that in the past two or three years, a number of extremely rich people are bundling funds and pouring them into local school board races.

Often the people making the campaign contributions do not live in the state or local community.

I wrote about this strange and new phenomenon in my book Reign of Error. 

It is a deliberate and coordinated campaign to seize control of education at the local level.

This turns out to be remarkably easy, as the people who run for school board usually are able to put up or raise $10,000-40,000 at best.

But the strangers can easily assemble (or “bundle”) many times that amount to elect their hand-picked candidate, who–if elected–will become a voice for privatization, charter schools, Teach for America, test-based evaluation of teachers, and every other policy that is guaranteed to demoralize teachers and hand public dollars over to nonpublic schools and entrepreneurs. This is a very small investment for corporate reformers in a very large prize.

We saw it in the state board elections in Louisiana, where millions flowed into the state to give Governor Bobby Jindal a compliant board. We saw it in Los Angeles, where Mayor Bloomberg sent a cool $1 million, and Michelle Rhee tossed in a quarter million dollars (thankfully, they lost).

We saw it in the Washington State charter campaign, where Bill Gates, the Bezos family (amazon.com), and the Walton (Walmart) family easily outspent the parent groups school boards, and civil rights groups to enact charter legislation, which had been turned down three times previously.

Now the target of big money is Sue Peters, a parent activist who is running for school board. She has antagonized the corporate reformers because she stands up for children, not for privatization. A PAC was created to defeat her.

This comment answers the question: Who is funding the campaign against Sue Peters?

Here are the main contributors to Sue Peters opponent’s PAC: Matt Griffin, Christopher Larson and Nick Hanauer.Matt Griffin is a real estate developer that is probably the person coordinating the giving. Twenty people essentially control Seattle’s elections:


Nick Hanauer desperately tried to get legislators to pass charter legislation in 2011. When legislators failed to pass charter legislation, Hanauer sent out a famous letter and called the legislators “stooges”. The following year, charter schools were put on the ballot and Hanauer contributed $1M to pass this initiative.