Privatizers Spend Big on Changing the Legislative Landscape – Tennessee Education Report


I recently wrote about Team Kid PAC, the political action arm of Tennesseans for Student Success.

The black money and pro-privatization group spent big on influencing key races in the August primary. Like Adam Friedman in tennessian Remarks, Team Kid was joined by other privatization groups in spending that ultimately resulted in the defeat of incumbent Republican House member Terri Lynn Weaver and Senate member Bob Ramsey. Both opposed the use of public funds to finance private schools.

Education groups that support charter schools and vouchers raised $1.2 million to spend in Tennessee’s last legislative primary, helping defeat two Republican incumbents.

Some education groups support charters and some support vouchers. Some both come back. They operate using the political action committees of Team Kid PAC, Tennessee Federation for Children PAC and Tennesseans for Putting Students First.

Tennesseans For Student Success, the American Federation for Children Action Fund, 50Can, and The Campaign for Great Public Schools are all national education groups whose donors are nearly impossible to track.

The Internal Revenue Service classifies these organizations as 501c4s. This means that their donors are only available through nonprofit tax forms, but these forms do not clearly indicate where the money is coming from.

These groups are spending heavily to elect even more pro-privatization candidates, and this spending is overwhelming the efforts of public education advocates.

Here’s more on the kinds of attacks Tennesseans use for student success when lawmakers don’t stick to their privatization agenda:

Photo by John Guccione on

For more on education policy and politics in Tennessee, follow @TNedReport


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