by Max Brantley
But it probably should says Boys and Girls Club, too.
Here's a sharp illustration from Washington state, where an intitiative would allow expansion of charter schools. I have to laugh at the backers' claim of "stric accountability." That was promised in Arkansas, too. It has been somewhat more true in recent years, much to the unhappiness of the billionaires, who probably have ideas about ridding the state Education Department and its board of those who have insisted on accountability.
In any case, in Washington, 91 percent of the $8.9 million raised to promote the charter initiative came from just 10 people. (You have a spare $800,000, don't you?)
Although wealthy donors pour millions into Washington state ballot measures each election season, what's unusual about the charter school campaign is that it depends almost entirely on big-money contributions from donors with no obvious financial interest in the outcome. Bill Gates contributed $3 million, one-third of the overall campaign donations. Millions more came from Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, and Mike and Jackie Bezos, the parents of Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.