Boston: Billionaire Seth Klarman, Charter Love, and Dark Money

Published April 28, 2018 by Nan Mykel

Blood is thicker than water. Money is thicker than blood or water….

Diane Ravitch's blog

Maurice Cunningham is a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts who has become an expert on the subject of Dark Money. He has his own name for the billionaires devoted to charter schools. He calls them the “Financial Privatization Cabal.” That’s clever and accurate but I stick with “corporate reformers” because there are fewer syllables.*

Cunningham (no relation to the charter-loving Peter of the same last name) has done a deep dive into the Dark Money funders of the 2016 campaign to expand charter schools in Massachusetts via a referendum called Question 2. A New York City organization called Families for Excellent Schools (FES) arrived on the scene to bundle and dispense Dark Money and renamed itself Great Schools Massachusetts. (FES was funded by the Waltons and has now been replaced by a new group which calls itself Massachusetts Parents United, also Walton funded.)

What is Dark Money?…

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