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Arkansas Residents Jim and Alice Walton Pony Up $1,835,000 to Raise Charter Cap in Massachusetts

September 10, 2016

According to the September 09, 2016, filing of the Massachusetts ballot committee, Yes on 2, billionaire Arkansas resident Alice Walton is one of two individuals providing the $710,100 in funding to promote MA Question 2, raising the charter school cap.

Alice Walton provided $710,000.

A second contributor, Massachusetts resident Frank Perullo provided $100 in order to establish the committee.

And then, the Alice Walton cash was moved to another Question 2 ballot committee: $703,770.29 of Alice Walton’s Yes on 2 committee money was expended to fund Question 2 ballot committee, Campaign for Fair Access to Quality Public Schools, where it was combined with billionaire Arkansas resident Jim Walton’s contribution of $1,125,000, thus making the total Walton contribution to the two committees $1,835,000 (and total Walton contribution to the latter committee, $1,828,770.29).

The Campaign for Fair Access total on its Sept 09, 2016, filing was $2,292,183 for 43 contributors– with 79 percent of that money ($1,828,770 / $2,292183) arriving from two out-of-state billionaires.

In other words, 95 percent of contributors (41 out of 43) provided only 21 percent of the total funding on the Campaign for Fair Access Sept 2016 report.

I can almost hear the conversation between Alice and Jim:

“You buy this Massachusetts ballot committee, and I’ll buy that one.”


The Waltons are not the only out-of-state billionaires using their wealth to influence the charter cap in a state in which they do not reside. According to the September 09, 2016, filing of the Question 2 ballot committee, Great Schools Massachusetts, other out-of-state billionaire/lobbying nonprofit contributors include the following:

  • John Arnold (Texas), $250,000
  • Michael Bloomberg (New York), $240,000
  • Education Reform Now (ERN) Advocacy (New York), $250,000
  • Families for Excellent Schools (FES) Advocacy (New York), $5,750,000

Note that the lobbying nonprofits, ERN Advocacy and FES Advocacy, are not required to disclose their donors. Sure, their donations are not tax deductible if made directly to the lobbying nonprofit (i.e., 501c4). However, a way around this is for a donor to contribute to an associated non-lobbying nonprofit (501c3) and let the 501c3 pay the 501c4.

All of this is to say that the public will likely never see a comprehensive listing of the exact billionaires pumping their cash influence into the Massachusetts charter cap question.

However, based upon the September 09, 2016 filings of the three ballot committees noted above (Yes on 2, Campaign for Fair Access to Quality Public Schools, and Great Schools Massachusetts), the total contributions from out-of-state individuals and lobbying nonprofits is $8,325,000.

That’s over $8 million funded by 4 individuals and 2 lobbying nonprofits to influence the charter laws in another state.

Astounding and disgusting all at once.

alice-and-jim-walton  Alice and Jim Walton


Released July 2016– Book Three:

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of both A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

  1. Wow!

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Christine Langhoff permalink

    Thank you as always for your amazing capability for diving deep into the tell-tale finances behind the screen of darkness. We here in Massachusetts need all the information and ammunition we can get if we are to be successful in holding on to our schools.


  3. Harlan Underhill permalink

    That IS astounding. Great research, Mercedes.

  4. Patricia Kinsella permalink

    Mercedes, you are amazing. Thank you for this.

  5. Mary K. Bellisario permalink

    Exactly what happened in Louisiana — out of state billionaires ensuring charter schools and vouchers in a state in which they and their families didn’t live. Chart them from the 2007 BESE race forward. Especially the Walton’s.

  6. Jill Reifschneider permalink

    Surprising? Nor at all. Totally expected. Thank you for revealing what I had only assumed.

  7. kathy stopka permalink

    Jim and Alice should pay their employees a good wage and stay out of education! Why do people with money think they know what education is about? Have they taught? I think not!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mercedes Schneider: Will the Waltons Buy the Public Schools of Massachusetts? | Diane Ravitch's blog
  2. Massachusetts Ballot Question 2: The Union Money, and More | deutsch29
  3. Ed News, Tuesday, September 13, 2016 Edition | tigersteach
  4. Massachusetts’ Question 2: Regarding Marty Walz’s Pro-Charter Reasonings | deutsch29
  5. Class Action Allowed in Walmart Mexican Bribery Case | deutsch29
  6. MA Receives $12.5 Million from Feds to Expand Charters– Before Public Votes on the Issue | deutsch29
  7. Who wants more charter schools? – The Double Standard
  8. Why Would Walmart Heirs Contribute $1.8 Million to the Yes on 2 Committee?
  9. Jeanne Allen’s Beef with Backpack Full of Cash | deutsch29
  10. Hanna Skandera Stars in a Walton-Funded Video | deutsch29
  11. The Gimmick Behind a Walton-Featured, 100-Percent-College-Acceptance Charter School | deutsch29
  12. The Waltons and Their Charter-Choice “Inroads”: Making Strategic Purchases | deutsch29
  13. Real Faces Behind Corporate Reform? Look Closer. | deutsch29
  14. Jim and Alice Walton Drop $200K to Support (In Part) La. BESE Candidates Kira Orange-Jones and Preston Castille | deutsch29
  15. Massachusetts Nonprofit, Building Excellent Schools, Receives $57M from Arkansas Waltons | deutsch29

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