October 29, 2017 11:38 am

Dark money just keeps on coming in school board races

Published by
Answer Sheet
 October 29


The Denver Post’s editorial board recently published a piece endorsing four candidates running for the Denver school board, all of them in support of reforms that employ some basic principles of for-profit businesses to the running of nonprofit public education. The editorial calls their opponents “anti-reformers” (as if they oppose making things better for students) and says they “enjoy plenty of money and energy.” (That, apparently, includes a 19-year-old “anti-reformer” candidate who just graduated from high school.)

Here’s what it doesn’t mention: the big out-of-state money behind the editorial board’s chosen candidates. This is a phenomenon that we’ve seen for years now, one in which some of America’s wealthiest citizens back school board candidates — even in states in which they don’t reside — to push their view of how public schools should operate. It has happened in Louisiana, California, Minnesota, Arkansas, Washington, etc.

This is a detailed post explaining the flow of dark money — funds donated to nonprofit organizations that spend the money to influence elections but do not have to disclose where they got it — by looking at the Denver school board race. There are four open seats on the seven-seat board and a total of 10 candidates.

To read Carol and Darcie’s entire piece on Valerie Strauss’s Answer Sheet in the Washington Post, click here.