Campaign for charter amendment draws more out-of-state cashBy WALTER C. JONES
Morris News Service
ATLANTA — The campaign to pass the charter-school amendment on this fall’s Georgia ballot pulled in $1.28 million in the last 30 days, with more than 70 percent coming from six out-of-state donors, according figures it released Friday.
Meanwhile, the campaign to stop it only pulled in $14,000 in that period.
All have contributed to similar school-choice movements in other states as well.
So far, Families has raised a total of $1.85 million from 184 donors, 122 from within the state and 62 from outside of Georgia.
“We are honored to have the support of successful leaders such as Bernie Marcus and Tom Cousins who have time and again generously given to causes benefitting Georgia’s children,” said Bert Brantley, spokesman for the Families campaign. “While adults argue about money, power and control, students just want the opportunity to succeed. This vote is about expanding educational choices for our children, and we will focus on ensuring voters hear that message over the next week and a half.”
The opposition, Vote SMART! NO To State-Controlled Schools! has raised a total of $123,000, nearly all of it from within the state. Much of its funds have come from school superintendents and school-board members from across the state as well as architects and attorneys that cater to school systems.
Jane Langley, campaign manager for Vote SMART, expressed shock at how Families was out raising her organization.
“Those out-of-state corporations must badly want to change permanently our constitution,” she said. “Must be a lot of money to be made in Georgia. I hope Georgia voters don’t turn our schools into cash cows for others’ profits.”
Another pro-passage organization, Committee for Educational Freedom, hadn’t filed its latest report ahead of Monday’s deadline. Its previous report showed it had raised just $13,000 by the end of September.
As far as spending the money, Families has committed $500,000 to a television ad and has begun spreading yard signs across the state. Vote SMART is concentrating on rallies to convince voters.