Look who’s deploying some of his considerable financial clout to influence who we Hoosiers elect as superintendent of public instruction this fall. It’s billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who donated $40,000 last month to the re-election campaign of Republican Superintendent Tony Bennett.
Bloomberg, as mayor, has championed some of the same policies that Bennett has pushed in Indiana: more charter schools, test-based evaluations of teachers, etc. But it’s not like Bennett needs the money. He’s sitting on more than a half million dollars, and there’s no way his Democratic opponent, Glenda Ritz, will ever come close to that.
Ritz, an elementary school teacher in Washington Township schools on the north side of Indianapolis, did get $30,000 last month from the political action committee of the Indiana State Teachers Association. Well, it’s a start.
Bennett, meanwhile, got June campaign contributions of $25,000 from Merrillville hotel developer Dean White, $50,000 from charter school founder Christel DeHaan and $25,000 from Gov. Mitch Daniels’ Aiming Higher PAC.
On June 29, the same day he recorded the Bloomberg donation, Bennett also got $25,000 from Hoosiers for Economic Growth. As School Matters reported previously, the money behind HEG doesn’t come from Hoosiers and it has nothing to do with economic growth. Continue reading