Cory Booker has a long history of embracing school privatization and corporate reforms, as well as making disparaging remarks about public schools. His senate campaign received direct contributions from pro-privatization advocates and PACS. Over 1 million dollars in independent expenditures were spent by education reform leaning PACs to support his candidacy.
Direct Campaign Contributions
Cory Booker for Senate received contributions from several prominent education reform donors, including Eli Broad, Michael Bloomberg, Reed Hastings, Laurene Powell Jobs, Doris Fisher, and Jonathan Sackler, as well as members of the Walton family. Booker also received direct contributions from Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
This joint fundraising committee received contributions from charter school friendly donors associated with Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), including DFER founder and former Public Prep charter school board member Ravenel Boykin Curry IV, LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman, Audible Founder Donald Katz, and Success Academy Board Member John Scully. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump also contributed $10,000 each.
This PAC spent $290,396.74 in the election, and received contributions from the American Federation for Children Chairman and Vice-Chairman William E. Oberndorf and John F. Kirtley as well as Hebrew Charter School Network founder Michael Steinhardt and Ravenel Boykin Curry IV.
This Super PAC spent $532,446.92 to support Cory Booker, and received $50,000 from Ravenel Boykin Curry IV, and another $50,000 from his father, Ravenel Boykin Curry III.
This Super PAC, funded solely by Michael Bloomberg, spent $732,535.87 supporting Cory Booker’s candidacy.
Cory Booker calls Newark Schools “repugnant” and gives his support of public dollars to charter schools and religious private schools.
At the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference Cory Booker voices his support for charter schools as an alternative to “failing public schools.”
The Newark Charter School Fund is created with funding from the Gates and Walton Foundations with the goal of raising “$25 million to support and strengthen Newark’s 12 charter schools.” Cory Booker is credited with “inspiring the groups to start up the fund.”
In September of 2010 then Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show with Governor Chris Christie and Facebook CEO Mark Zukerberg to announce a $100 million dollar grant to the Newark Public School system. At the time the district was under state control, which allowed Booker and Christie to enact their chosen reform strategies.
A portion of the money was ultimately used to dramatically expand charter schools.
In an interview with CNN’s Jay Tapper Senator Cory Booker states that although he voted no on Betsy DeVos’s confirmation he has not changed his positions on school choice “one iota.” He boasts about rewriting the Washington DC Opportunity Scholarship Program bill which supports vouchers and charter schools.
The National Alliance of Public Charter Schools named Senator Booker a “2017 Champion for Charters.”
Cory Booker speaks about his support for the Milwaukee Opportunity Scholarship program at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference.
Cory Booker urges the passage of Governor Chris Christie’s Opportunity Scholarship Act and says that the public school system “chokes out potential of millions of children trapped in schools that deny the beauty of their genius.”
Cory Booker addresses the members of Betsy DeVos’s American Federation Children. Calls them his earliest supporters. He says the AFC mission is aligned with the mission of our nation.
A new union contract is signed in Newark which uses test scores for up to 50% of a teacher’s evaluation, and enacts merit pay bonuses for teachers rated as “highly effective.” The new contract is paid for with half of the $100 million dollars from Zuckerberg that Booker brought to Newark.
Booker stated that teachers shouldn’t “live in fear” of high stakes standardized test, but that “standardized test scores should be one of ‘multiple measures’ used to evaluate teachers.”
Booker opposed ESSA until it contained stronger “accountability” measures.
Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report identified Cory Booker as the new found “champion” of the hard right to put forward their school privatization agenda.
Booker helped start Democrats for Education Reform and served on its advisory board.
Booker sat on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for School Choice with Betsy DeVos.
He spoke at an event sponsored by Michelle Rhee.
2012 and 2016
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