Amanda Haggard has an interesting piece out about the MNPS School Board race and the key players.
She covers groups like Project Renaissance/Nashville RISE and Stand for Children. And she notes their top targets: Will Pinkston and Amy Frogge (they are less aggressively against Jill Speering).
It turns out, the same donors and backers supporting Renaissance/RISE are also spending to unseat Pinkston and Frogge.
Frogge penned a pieced not long ago about why school board race spending is skyrocketing.
Here’s Haggard on the spending this year:
And then, of course, there’s the money. So far, Druffel has outraised Frogge by $10,000, bringing in almost $37,000 — $20,000 of which came from donors in District 8. Pinkston has secured a little under $70,000, along with endorsements from Mayor Megan Barry and former Gov. Phil Bredesen, for whom Pinkston was a top aide.
Miller has brought in around $90,000, with the largest contributions coming from charter school backers like DeLoache and Trump supporter and English-only backer Lee Beaman. Stand for Children’s O’Donnell says checks are on the way from his organization and mailers have already been sent out in support of its endorsed slate. Additionally, Beacon Center board members other than Beaman have donated the maximum amount in multiple races.
It’s worth noting that Beaman and the Beacon Center are supporters of school vouchers. Likewise, as was noted in an earlier piece on Nashville RISE, the umbrella group Education Cities is backed in part by voucher advocates:
And here’s something interesting about all that: The funders of Education Cities include The Broad Foundation, the Walton Foundation, and The Gates Foundation — the Big Three in corporate education reform.
Perhaps more interesting is the group of partners, including the pro-voucher Fordham Institute.
Early voting begins tomorrow. Stand for Children says it is sending mailers and more money is coming to defeat Pinkston and Frogge (and ostensibly Speering). This in spite of some rather odd reasoning around Stand’s endorsements.
What does all this mean? The next few weeks will likely see the MNPS School Board races turn a bit ugly, as those who want a new agenda spend aggressively to defeat the very incumbents who have brought about mayoral collaboration and the arrival of a much-heralded new Director of Schools.
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