Skip to content

Who is Behind the Leaders in Education PAC?

September 22, 2018

In preparing for my presentation on “dark money” in purchasing elections for promoting ed reform (i.e., charters, vouchers), a presentation for the Fifth Annual Network for Public Education (NPE) conference in Indianapolis, IN, on October 20 – 21, 2018, I have been reviewing some campaign finance forms.

In reviewing 2015 relection contributions to Louisiana state ed board (BESE) member and Teach for America exec director, Kira Orange-Jones, I noticed on her February 2016 filing that a Washington, DC PAC named “Leaders in Education,” donated a total of $10,000. (Another out-of-state $10K came from former NY mayor, Michael Bloomberg.)

Of course, I wanted to know who was lurking behind that PAC. (Any readers interested in a deep dive on the oversized influence of the ueber-wealthy in the purchase of elections for the promtion of market-based ed reform, see the NPE report linked in this post.)

The site, Open Secrets, proved useful for the search. I like Open Secrets because it links to the original Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings for the PAC in question.

First, for some background:

Leaders in Education PAC is associated with the TFA-created lobbying nonprofit founded in 2014, Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE). (Associated 501c3: LEE Foundation.)

2018 LEE Board members include Walton grandson, Steuart Walton; former NYC mayor, Michael Bloomberg‘s daughter, Emma Bloomberg; TFA CEO Elisa Villanueva Beard, and Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Arthur Rock.

According to the LEE site, LEE membership is free to all TFAers. And why not? The purpose of TFA and its related orgs is to catapult those who taught for five minutes into positions of power and authority over the American classroom.

Such catapulting requires loads of money– which brings us to those financially-loaded, Leaders in Education PAC donors:

The PAC is primarily funded by members of the Walton family (note that Carrie Penner is Carrie Walton Penner) and by Arthur Rock. Michael Bloomberg makes an appearance, as does Purdue Pharma-OxyContin first son and venture capitalist, Jonathan Sackler.

Finally, details on contributions of $200 or more to Leaders in Education PAC compliments of Open Secrets:

2018 Contributions of $200 or More:

IMG_1252

2016 Contributions of $200 or More:

IMG_1254

IMG_1255

2014 Contributions of $200 or More:

IMG_1256

There you have it.

When you see that a candidate receives contributions from Leaders in Education PAC, think Walton, and Walton, and Walton, and Walton, and Rock, and Bloomberg, and Bloomberg, and Sackler.

Then vote for that candidate’s opponent.

IMG_1258

__________________________________________________________________________________

Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

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 two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

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

10 Comments
  1. Unfortunately you have left out the reason the Walton family gives to education? Steve Schran Retired Music Teacher/Maine

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Not completely left out:

      “According to the LEE site, LEE membership is free to all TFAers. And why not? The purpose of TFA and its related orgs is to catapult those who taught for five minutes into positions of power and authority over the American classroom.

      Such catapulting requires loads of money– which brings us to those financially-loaded, Leaders in Education PAC donors:”

  2. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    Thanks for the information and your source of the information. I am impressed with the ease of search and what turns up, for example, under some categories. I hope to explore “for-profit education” on my next vacatiojn.

  3. Linda permalink

    The Walton Family Foundation provides funding to Stanford’s CREDO. Wikipedia identifies CREDO’s director, Margaret Macke Raymond, as the wife of Hanushek.

  4. Derek permalink

    Thank you Mercedes

  5. Christine Langhoff permalink

    Today’s Boston Globe is reporting on the launch of a group called Massachusetts Education Equity Partnership, many of whom seem to be privatizers and charteristas.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/09/23/push-for-more-school-funding-gains-ally/VYI3HueApcserSeQxh6ZeI/story.html#comments

    “Along with Massachusetts Parents United and Coaching for Change, the new coalition — Massachusetts Education Equity Partnership — includes the NAACP Boston, Latinos for Education, Amplify Latinx, Educators for Excellence, Higher Ground Boston, Massachusetts Association of Bilingual Educators, Ramos Law, Stand for Children/Massachusetts, Strategies for Children, Teach Plus, the Urban League of Springfield, and the Worcester Education Collaborative.”

    Many of these players are old wine in new bottles from our victorious fight against charter school expansion in November 2016. Like horror movie monsters, they keeping morphing and returning to their old haunts. I’ll definitely plan on attending your workshop in Indianapolis, Mercedes!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mercedes Schneider: The Billionaires Behind TFA’s Drive for Power | Diane Ravitch's blog
  2. Who is Behind the Leaders in Education PAC? | Network Schools - Wayne Gersen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s