So You Wanna Buy a School Board Seat…

It is a true fact that elected school boards are often the biggest obstacles to closing the achievement gap forever and ushering in a bright future of excellence and innovation for our most motivated scholars. But purchasing an entire school board and taking it private can be an expensive proposition. And with so many un-excellent and non-innovative voters out there, even a massive ed-vestment can’t guarantee an excellent outcome.

Don’t despair, savvy edupreneur. Individual school board seats can be purchased for as little as $37,000, leaving you with plenty of big donors left to tap when it’s time to scale up your transformational venture come election time. Want to see how it’s done? Climb aboard the EduShyster express and join me on an all-expenses-paid trip to what must be the reformy-est place in America: Minneapolis, USA.

Go with a fresh face
It has been scientifically proven that freshness and innovation go hand in glove, so when the Twin Cities’ reformiest elites wanted to inject some serious excellence into the Minneapolis Public Schools they knew they needed a seriously fresh face. As in a young man who’d just moved to the area and whose own record of TFA achievement had been erased thanks to the Atlanta cheating scandal, but had nonetheless prepared him to now influence public education on broader scale. As fate and luck would have it, our fresh young candidate also embodied some seriously fresh ideas, like closing the achievement gap, putting kids first and making it easier to FINALLY get rid of LIFO lifers.

Invite the whole rephorm family
If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an entire rephorm family to elect a fresh-faced candidate, not to mention a hefty helping of that old MinnCAN-do spirit! Among the groups that were eager to raise $$$ to help our young reformer race to the top: Teach for America, Achieve Minneapolis, 50Can and Charter School Partners, which is seeking to open 20 more charter schools in the Twin Cities, and the family foundation that funds the groups that make up our our rephorm family.  Also, these organizations really do make up a family as the outstanding individuals who lead them are somehow all related.

Don’t hold back
The great thing about the achievement gap is that everyone is now totally passionate about closing it. Fortunately, that now includes people who in the past who might not have been interested in a Minneapolis School Board election. Like people who live in tony suburbs, send their children to the most exclusive private schools in the area, work at the most exclusive private schools in the area, or themselves attended the most exclusive schools in the area. Or people who don’t live in Minneapolis, or even in Minnesota. Also area billionaires, or who work in fields not traditionally associated with public education, like consulting, venturing and capital managing.

Or worry about campaign finance violations
In the past, out-moded concerns about campaign finance violations held too many reform-minded individuals back and may even have caused our achievement gap to widen. Thankfully those days are over, as leaders of achievement-gap closing organizations apparently no longer worry about violating the IRS’ strict limits on political campaigning by nonprofit organizations. Is it appropriate, for example, for the national president of an organization containing the letters ‘T’ ‘F’ and ‘A’ to email fellow rephormers, thanking everyone:

for considering helping Josh get over the hump.  You can contribute up to $300 individually or $600 per couple, online or in person at our house.

You tell me…

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  1. Ashley Smith Juarez here in Jacksonville, endorsed by Jeb Bush, spent nearly 200k to win her seat. The other day her quote in the paper was, there is no evidence that smaller classes improve education.

    1. Wow–$200K is a lot of excellence and innovation. Send me more info and I will happily write about her.

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