Friday, September 17, 2010

Charter School Debate Brings Money, Attention to Harlem Race

Another article about the Smikle-Perkins race that mentions DFER.  Again, even if Smikle loses, we've won, as Perkins is now scrambling to say he really likes charter schools after all (HA!):

Despite this, Perkins has said, he does not oppose charter schools. In fact, he served on the board of one.

Charter proponents take a different view. Early in 2010, a number of people considered challenging Perkins, at least partly on the charter school issue. Eventually they coalesced behind Smikle.

Since then, Smikle, who has raised about $160,000, has received contributions from many of those supporting the charter school movement. Democrats for Education Reform, a leading pro charter group, placed Smikle on its "hot List for fall 2010," of candidates throughout the country. "Basil is taking on Sen. Bill Perkins, who volunteered to become New York's poster child for charter school opposition," the group said in a recent report. "A Smikle win sends a strong proreform message at a crucial juncture in Albany."

The organization "connected him with people in the financial and real estate world who give to charters," WNYC reporterd recently.

Smikle also has received money from people in the real estate industry.

Perkins, who has been soliciting money for a longer time than Smikle has, has raised more: a total of about $260,000. He too has seen his stand on charters bring him contributions, most notably from the United Federation of Teachers and its allies. The union went to court in an effort to remove the $6,000 limit on the amount its political action committee could give Perkins. A federal judge rejected that demand. Other unions also have donated to Perkins' campaign.


Charter School Debate Brings Money, Attention to Harlem Race

by Gail Robinson
Sep 11, 2010

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