Politics: Reformers' Spending Represents "Broadening" Of Political Advocacy
In case you missed it (or wondered where I was getting those maps), here's last week's Slate/Center for Public Integrity article about the rise of school reform campaign funding efforts -- and how they compare to long-running union and public employee spending.
The arrival of groups like StudentsFirst may be new and troubling to some -- especially those who've had the campaign and politics field all to themselves in the past -- but it's not necessarily something bad for schools or kids.
"In the old days, it was all the service-provider organizations—so all the unions—or the consumers,” the article quotes Brown University professor Kenneth Wong as saying. "We are seeing the broadening in terms of the type of actors who get involved in campaign issues in education.”
And nobody should be too worried about the unions being outspent, according to the article: "The NEA’s outside spending in 2012 state races was at least $6.4 million, more than double the amount spent by StudentsFirst in the states examined by the Center for Public Integrity." [NEA spending was actually $15.7M in 2012 if you count state and local affiliates, according to the CPI.]