Who is paying for and supporting the lawsuit claiming that due process for teachers harms the civil rights of students?

Until now, all we knew was that the case was bankrolled by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur named David Welch.

That much is true, but Welch also has an advisory board that includes Russlyn Ali, who served as an assistant secretary to Arne Duncan, now working for the supposedly liberal Education Trust; and even more disturbing, Ted Mitchell of NewSchools Venture Fund, who was nominated by President Obama to be the #2 official in the U.S. Department of Education. Also on the board is Ben Austin of Parent Revolution.

The anti-due process group, anti-union group is running a well-honed PR campaign. The California Teachers Association has decided not to compete in the PR war.

” Remarkably, this one-sided communications war has been initiated by a single person – Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch, the founder of the nonprofit organization Students Matter, which brought the suit – and provides a case study of what impact a single individual can have if he has the resources, or access to them, to take action based on his beliefs.

“California Teachers Association President Dean Vogel says his organization, representing more than 300,000 teachers, has no intention of trying to counteract what he described as a campaign funded by the bottomless pockets of the “billionaires boys club….”

“The organization is a relative newcomer to the California education policy landscape. The organization has no staff on its payroll, or even its own office. Instead it is run out of its communications firm’s office in Los Angeles. Its sole purpose, as described on its website, is “sponsoring impact litigation to promote access to quality public education. Welch’s net worth is unknown, although public reports assert that he receives more than $2 million in annual compensation from the Infinera Corporation, which he founded.

“For weeks leading to the opening of the trial on Jan. 27, media outlets have received a stream of emails and announcements about the pending proceedings.

“An email sent out on the weekend before the trial opened provided possible tweets – complete with scripts, hashtags and Twitter handles – with a half dozen to draw from. Here’s one: Let’s get back to basics, starting with a great teacher in every classroom! I support @Students_Matter #VergaraTrial

“Students Matter called a news conference a few days before the trial opened, and on opening day yet another news conference was held during the lunch break with all nine students who are listed in the suit as plaintiffs in the case, along with Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy who has testified on their behalf.

“On the morning the trial opened, Students Matter emails sent at 5 a.m. by the communications firms landed in media outlets’ inboxes. Before 8 a.m. that day a news release appeared on Yahoo News with the headline “California Students Get Their Day in Court: Groundbreaking Education Equality Trial Begins Today.”

Win or lose, the goal of the campaign seems to be to smear the union and teachers.

Is it surprising that a soon-to-be-confirmed high-level official in the Obama administration is part of the anti-teacher team?