The pro-charter group Great Schools Massachusetts is going to have a lot harder time pretending it is a “grassroots” organization now that The Boston Globe has shined a light on the big corporate money behind it. Great Schools Massachusetts is backed by the New York-based Families for Excellent Schools.

And the web of conflicting interests grows more tangled. Massachusetts Secretary of Education James Peyser has long had ties with FES and other pro-charter groups. Despite claiming he resigned from the FES Board of Directors, he is still listed as a board member here. Is his real commitment to public schools or to privately run charters?

The Globe article begins, “A business-backed coalition is poised to spend up to $18 million and obliterate state campaign spending records in favor of expanded charter schools, launching its efforts with mail targeted at state Senate districts, including that of Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg .” It goes on to say, “A person familiar with the plan said the mailings were funded by Families for Excellent Schools, a Manhattan-based nonprofit with deep ties to Wall Street that has waged a similar effort in New York.”

How could it possibly be worth $18 million to lift the cap? Follow the money. If charter backers win and open all the schools allowed, billions of dollars will be diverted from district public schools to private charter school operators in a few short years.

So our job is clear. We need to expose the lies of our opponents and work in solidarity with one another to stand up for our rights, the interests of our students and fairness for working men and women everywhere.

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