Episode

7/9 Outside Money in School Board Elections w/ Sarah Reckhow

July 9, 2019

On today’s show, Sarah Reckhow (@SReckhow), co-author, Outside Money in School Board Elections: The Nationalization of Education Politics.

Reckhow and her co-authors looked at 5 cities where outside money was flooding into local school board elections including Indianapolis, Denver, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Bridgeport, CT. After pouring over close to a decade’s worth of campaign contributions, Reckhow and her colleagues found that there was a huge surge of money coming from the beginning of Obama first term in 2008 to 2012 which found far greater sums of outside money being spent in school board elections. The research identified 132 donors who provided more than half the funding for candidates running on school reform (pro-charter) in the sampled cities. Reckhow points out, also, how reform candidates who raised this outside money also raised more money locally. The reform candidates we’re 2.5x more likely to be elected while union-backed candidates won half of its races, a huge gain for school reform efforts. This led to a greater expansion of charter schools in the cities studied. These cities were studied by Reckhow and her colleagues because they’re municipalities where the school board has the most authority in enacting education reform, like allocating funds to charter school funding. Reckhow concludes the interview pointing out that school board elections remain an important part of our local democracies where popular engagement can effectively combat outside money and interest.

And in the Fun Half: Dan Bongino does not seem to have the composure to a talking head–let alone a law enforcement officer, how to get blue collar voters on board with democratic candidates, Jesse Watters says women athletes would probably be paid more if they were more patriotic, Elizabeth Warren says she’ll end the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the value of Bernie defining himself as a Democratic Socialist, “electability” and Biden, Andrew Yang v. Meghan McCain, Tom Steyer sends $100M into a blackhole, plus your calls and IMs!

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