When you accept a chunk of someone else's money, there is often a motive or a favor owed. Don Corleone comes to mind: "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."
What favors do some IPS school board members and Indiana legislators owe?
Long overdue, here is all. the. money received during the 2020 election from wealthy folks who support the privatization of public education. You can read part 1 and part 2 here.
Do these elected officials work for their communities or their donors? Most of us are aware that many of these legislators (all these folks in this list below are Republicans) would have been elected without this money because Indiana is a conservative state.
The spending of large amounts in city school board races is new but not too new. And some donations are so large, that it makes a $25 donation from someone who has a legitimate stake in the game—a parent with children in the district—seem insignificant.
Also, the fact that this money appears to come mostly from out of state and then gets sent right back out is sad. Is this democracy? Is this representing you and your neighbors? Is this the only way to get change in IPS? And what change is that? Whose change is that? Is that Reed Hastings change? He doesn't believe in elected school boards last we read. And he founded a company that is a disruptor. How do kids and communities handle disruption?
Folks like Reid Hastings and Alice Walton may believe they are doing good. These donations are a fraction of what they are personally worth. It's like you and me donating $20 to a campaign. They may not fully realize the ripple effect. Or maybe they might.
At the end of the day, you have to wonder what favors do these elected officials— legislators, school board members—owe and to whom?
Will this lead to the further privatization of public education masked under the guise of "choice"? Well, it seems like that was a success this past legislative session based on the American Federation for Children, the Wall Street Journal, and Jeb Bush.
And if legislators were so successful in pushing more policy that supports the privatization of public education following their landslide win in 2020, what's on the to-do list for IPS board members? Will this lead to the privatization of IPS?
Well over $1.5 million was spent in the name of education privatization in the 2020 election in Indiana. It's a drop compared to the giant, leaky bucket of tuition support funding in Indiana. But these elected decision makers will have control over how tax dollars are used.
Read more on this matter:
"Indianapolis Public Schools for Sale"
"Dark Money Clouds IPS Election"
"Why Is There So Much Money Fighting in the IPS School Board Race"
"IPS School Board Race Election Results"
P.S. If you have yet to see the documentary Indiana's Choice, please take the time to do so. It is related to the above. And save the dates:
May 10th at 6pm on "Bring It On" on 91.3 WFHB, contributors to the film and members of ICPE will discuss Indiana's Choice. "Bring It On" is Indiana’s only weekly radio program committed to exploring the people, issues and events impacting the African-American community. It is also available on Apple Podcasts,
May 19th at 7pm there will a film panel discussion on Zoom sponsored by a host of organizations. Stay tuned for more information.
Indiana Coalition for Public Education–Monroe County (ICPE–Monroe County) advocates for all children to have high quality, equitable, well-funded schools that are subject to democratic oversight by their communities.
We are a nonpartisan and nonprofit group of parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers, and other community members of Monroe County and surrounding areas.