Governor's ties to charter schools driving Race to Top goals?h/t KL
SACRAMENTO — Charter school advocates were livid. The Assembly's "Race to the Top" legislation was trying to "change the DNA of charters," as one charter school leader put it, by clamping down with "stifling" oversight provisions.
They had little doubt, however, that they'd have a potent weapon to beat back the proposed changes: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Schwarzenegger's deep ties to the charter school movement haven't been a secret. He has taken at least $1 million in contributions from charter school advocates, stacked the State Board of Education with charter school educators, overseen since taking office in 2003 more than a doubling in the number of charter schools and steered hundreds of millions of construction bond money to charter schools.
Now, with a potential $700 million in federal cash dangling before lawmakers who have seen $17 billion drained from public schools over the past two years, some critics say Schwarzenegger has used the Race to the Top competition to further his long-term goal of cutting into the powers of traditional public schools while elevating his own sacred cow — the charter movement.