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Your Call: Outspent but not outdone, how Massachusetts’ teachers defeated a charter school expansion

Massachusetts Teachers Association


How did a teacher-led coalition defeat a charter school expansion initiative despite being outspent by dark money and out-of-state contributions?

In November, 62 percent of voters said no to a Massachusetts' measure that would have allowed up to 12 new charter schools each year. Wall Street execs, the Walton Foundation, and others funded the pro-charter side with nearly $26 million, while teachers unions spent $15 million.


Barbara Madeloni, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association

Web Resources:

Massachusetts Teachers Association: MTA backs campaign to fight charter cap lift

International Business Times: Wall Street Firms Make Money From Teachers' Pensions — And Fund Charter Schools Fight

International Business Times: Wall Street Money For Charter Schools Fight: Teachers Unions File Complaint About Gov. Baker And Anti-Corruption Rules

In These Times: Massachusetts Teachers Defeat Charter School Expansion: “We Took On the Corporate Giants and Won”

In These Times: Massachusetts Teachers Unions Battle the Dark Money Behind a Pro-Charter Ballot Measure

WBUR: Where The Money Comes From In The Fight Over Charter Schools

Washington Post: How messed up is California’s charter school sector? You won’t believe how much.


Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.