The National Education Association, which supports charter schools in some states, has contributed $250,000 to the campaign to defeat a charter school initiative here, the campaign’s largest contribution to date.
The NEA is the parent group for the Washington Education Association, Washington’s largest teachers union, and it has donated to anti-charter-school campaigns here in the past. WEA President Mary Lindquist said the NEA leaders think Initiative 1240 is an extreme measure, in part because it comes at a time when Washington’s Supreme Court has said the state already underfunds existing public schools.
“It’s the wrong idea at the wrong time,” Lindquist said.
The WEA also kicked into another $50,000 to the No campaign this week, bringing its total to $200,000.
Charter supporters still have much more money, now $9.3 million and counting, mostly from a number of wealthy individuals such as Bill Gates and Walmart heiress Alice Walton.