The California Charter School Association is a super-rich, highly political power broker in politics. It wants to control every possible seat in the state legislature so it can pursue its goal of mass privatization of public schools across the Golden State.

Consider this dirty trick: It has created an organization called the “Parent Teacher Alliance,” which endorses candidates. Thus, the candidates can say that they were endorsed by the “PTA,” even though this Parent Teacher Alliance has no affiliation with the Parent Teacher Associations of the state.

The Los Angeles School Report, whose editorial content is directed by Campbell Brown, has a story about a crucial legislative race playing out in a district where the assemblyman vacated his seat. Voters will decide tomorrow. The go-to speaker quoted in the story is Marshall Tuck, who ran and lost as the pro-charter candidate against Tom Torlakson, the state superintendent. Tuck speaks from the “reform” point of view, labeling those whom he doesn’t like as union candidates.

Here is the bottom line on spending: A rift in the Democratic Party over education policy comes into sharp relief one day before California’s primary election as a record $28 million has been spent by outside groups on state races, one-third coming from groups supporting charter schools.

There you have it: with all the issues facing the state, one-third of the $28 million spent by outside groups on state races is coming from charter advocates.

The latest example in Southern California is playing out in an open state Assembly district seat in Glendale, Burbank, La Canada Flintridge and parts of Los Angeles where an independent expenditure committee supporting charter schools has spent more than $1.2 million to back a Democratic candidate, flooding voters’ mailboxes over the past eight weeks with attack ads on a fellow Democrat supported by teachers unions…..In the 43rd Assembly District seat, being vacated by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Burbank, due to term limits, an independent expenditure committee called the Parent Teacher Alliance, sponsored by the California Charter School Association Advocates, has spent $1.2 million as of Friday, state campaign finance records show. Parent Teacher Alliance is not associated with the well-known Parent Teacher Association.

Records show that donors to the CCSA Advocates Independent Expenditure Committee include Michael Bloomberg, Doris Fisher, Jim Walton and Eli Broad.

Glendale City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian has been backed by the California Teachers Association, which is considered among the most powerful lobbyists in Sacramento. Glendale City Councilwoman Laura Friedman has been endorsed by the California Charter School Association Advocates, the political arm of the CCSA. The union and education reformers have clashed over education policies like teacher tenure and the expansion of charter schools.

How touching to see that billionaires like former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Doris Fisher (of the Gap business), Jim Walton (of Walmart), and Eli Broad are deeply engaged in financing the phony “Parent Teacher Alliance.”

Here is the spending:

State campaign finance records also show the California Teachers Association’s Independent Expenditure Committee has spent $47,721 on the race: $35,791 on mailers opposing Friedman and $11,930 supporting Kassakhian.

The CCSA committee has spent $910,791 supporting Friedman and $304,355 opposing Kassakhian as of Friday, records show.

This is the score: $1.2 million assembled by the California Charter Schools Association to beat Kassakhian; $47,721 spent by the California Teachers Association to support Kassakhian. Goliath vs. David.

The fight over charter schools in California is really a fight over the future of public education in the state. Will there be public education 20 years from now, or will community schools be run by entrepreneurs and charter chains whose corporate leaders are based in other states?

If you live in the 43rd Assembly District, please vote for Ardy Kassakhian. DON’T LET THE BILLIONAIRES BUY YOUR PUBLIC SCHOOL.