Jake Jacobs, writing in Alternet, reports on a Clinton campaign briefing book on education that shows the powerful influence of wealthy charter advocates.

A rare peek into the evolution of Hillary Clinton’s education platform is afforded through an overlooked Wikileaks-published document. Entitled “Policy Book— FINAL,” the PDF file was attached to a 2014 email sent to John Podesta, Clinton’s future campaign chair. The education portion of the document runs 66 pages, mostly concentrated on K-12 policy, and captures specific input from billionaire donors looking to overhaul and privatize public education.

Today, Donald Trump seeks a rapid expansion of charter schools and private school vouchers, while his Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, touts “school choice” and market competition for public school at every stop. But in private, Hillary Clinton’s donors, dubbed “experts,” also sought rapid charter expansion and market-based options to replace public schools.

One of the most connected “thought leaders” discussed is Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, and the head of the Emerson Collective, a prominent education reform advocacy group. Powell Jobs who has been close with the Clintons since the late ’90s, also sat with Betsy DeVos on the board of Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education. She set up billionaire “roundtables” with Clinton’s campaign advisors through 2015 while donating millions to Priorities USA, Clinton’s main PAC.

Powell Jobs and Bruce Reed of the Broad Foundation also set their sights on remaking the teaching profession and teacher education. The briefing book, written in 2014, shows Reed boasting about the great accomplishments of the New Orleans charter district, “accomplishments” that have since been exposed as a fraud.

Jacobs writes:

Tying campaign donations to a singular issue like expanding charter schools might in days past been seen as a prohibited quid-pro-quo. But in this cycle, Podesta, O’Leary and Tanden all busily raised campaign money from the same billionaire education reformers with whom they were also talking policy specifics.

But they did more than talk. On June 20, 2015, O’Leary sent Podesta an email revealing the campaign adopted two of Powell Jobs’ suggestions, including “infusing best ideas from charter schools into our traditional public schools.” When Clinton announced this policy in a speech to teachers, however, it was the one line that drew boos.

Clinton needed big money to run. But she also solicited and got the support of the two big teachers’ unions, the NEA and the AFT. Torn between her super-wealthy donors and the leaders of the unions, Clinton eventually fell silent on education issues, to avoid alienating either side.

A personal footnote: Carol Burris and I met twice with Hillary’s top education policy advisor, Ann O’Leary. We tried to persuade her that Hillary should not support charter schools, but we sensed it was futile. She did eventually assure us that Hillary would take a strong stand against for-profit charters, a small victory.

It is no surprise that the faux Democrats in DFER, the Broad Foundation, and Powell Jobs were pushing her to endorse privatization. Perhaps it was a small victory that Clinton realized this was a non-starter with the millions of teachers whose support she needed.

I am certainly not surprised that the big donors wanted to buy her support for privatization. I am not surprised that she wanted their money. We could have fought that out after the election. Even if she followed in Obama’s footsteps on education, she would not have sold out civil rights, the environment, our national parks, our foreign policy, the Supreme Court, and every other function of the federal government.

Having read the briefing book, as much as I disagree with the reformers, I would still pick Clinton over Trump, with enthusiasm. And fight the battles later, without fearing to lose the essential values of our society and our democracy, as well as world peace, which now hang in the balance.