In this past cycle alone, Gary Chartrand gave Curry over fifty grand and Fischer over thirty, couple that with the tens of thousands he has given them in the past and the amount adds up.
Chartrand had a plan for a long time and that was through donations garner influence over the school board. Even though he doesn’t even live in Jacksonville he has donated to a candidate in every race since at least 2012. That’s all 7 districts and double digit candidates, and he has had some success too.
The KIPP school despite mediocre numbers was allowed to expand, charter growth expanded greatly and TFA came to town, but I imagine for him progress was slow and he wasn’t getting the return on investment he hoped for. Becki Couch, Warren Jones and Ashley Smith-Juarez all took money from him at one time but resisted his agenda. Then all too often the citizens of Jacksonville have rejected his candidates. This last round only one of three that he supported won, and just barely at that.
His goal of an all charter city maned by temps, sorry Teach for America wasn’t likely to happen at the pace he was going.
So why buy a school board, who has had a lot of their authority eroded when you can buy a mayor and a state representative and that’s where Curry and Fischer come in.
It’s here his return on investment has been tremendous. For his hundred grand, he has received almost 1.4 million from the city, through the kids hope alliance and about five million from the state, money Jason Fischer has inserted into the budget, both figures to help his pet charter school the KIPP school.
Now I don’t want to be disingenuous, a lot of republicans in politics have an irrational dislike of public education and an equaly irrational love for charters, I don’t think it took a lot of convincing for Curry and Fischer to betray the city’s children, but the money Chartrand gave and the access to more from Chartrand’s friends certainly didn’t hurt.
I guess the bottom line is, if there was no Chartrand, I doubt there would even be a Curry or Fischer in office, but if they were, I imagine they couldn’t carve less about electing a superintendent.