Business Is Paying Handsomely for Raising the Charter Cap in Massachusetts
On September 09, 2016, the ballot committee, Expanding Educational Opportunities (EEO), filed its first funding report with the Massachusetts Office of campaign and Political Finance (OCPF).
The EEO purpose is “to support greater educational opportunities in Massachusetts, including by increasing the number of charter schools.”
The Massachusetts Competitive Partnership is a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(4) public policy group comprised of chief executive officers of some of the Commonwealth’s largest businesses. The Partnership’s goals are to promote job growth and competitiveness in the Commonwealth by working in collaboration with public officials and business and civic leaders in Massachusetts.
So, “some of the Commonwealth’s largest businesses” want to raise the charter cap in Massachusetts. And they are willing to pay to do so. EEO lists four contributions totaling $325,000 dated 08-10-16 to 09-01-16, all of which originate with the businesses of MECP leadership:
- EMC Corporation, $75,000 (09-01-16)
- Partners Healthcare, $100,000 (08-17-16)
- The Kraft Group, $100,000 (08-10-16)
- Vertex Pharmaceuticals, $50,000 (08-19-16)
According to its September 09, 2016, filing, EEO has had only a single payout, of $250,000, to Great Schools Massachusetts, on September 01, 2016.
Another MECP board member, Abigail Johnson of Fidelity Investments, has already donated $40,000 to Great Schools Massachusetts (GSM), according to GSM’s 2015 end-of-year report.
Great Schools Massachusetts is portrayed as “a statewide coalition of parents, educators, and community leaders working to lift the cap on public charter schools”; however, the Massachusetts (business?) wealthy are clearly the real force behind the cap-lifting agenda, with 9 percent (14 out of 148) of GSM’s 2015 contributors ponying up 96 percent of GSM’s cash.
A sham well financed is still a sham.
We’ll see if Massachusetts voters are taken in by it. If the results of September 8th’s Jehlen-Cheung primary are any indication, the answer is a refreshing “no.”