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Corporate Elites and the Reform of Public Education$
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Helen M. Gunter, David Hall, and Michael W. Apple

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447326809

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447326809.001.0001

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Fighting for the local: Americans for Prosperity and the struggle for school boards

Fighting for the local: Americans for Prosperity and the struggle for school boards

Chapter:
(p.47) Three Fighting for the local: Americans for Prosperity and the struggle for school boards
Source:
Corporate Elites and the Reform of Public Education
Author(s):

Eleni Schirmer

Michael W. Apple

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447326809.003.0004

Corporate-backed philanthropic groups have become increasingly involved in political processes in the past ten years. The Koch Brothers’ and their political advocacy groups, have become particularly prominent players. Their influence extends beyond high-profile state-level elections and increasingly have begun investing in municipal affairs of small cities and towns, such as school board elections like Kenosha, Wisconsin and Jefferson County, Colorado in the US. This chapter asks, why do groups like Americans for Prosperity care about small-town school board elections? This chapter highlights two particularly significant local examples in the United States: school board elections in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 2014 and Jefferson County, Colorado in 2015. Through documentary analysis of school board records, news reports, and district evaluations, in both Wisconsin and Colorado, we chronicle the political contest for control of each school board. Our findings illustrate the ideological and political project of corporate, conservative influence in public education in the United States.

Keywords:   school boards, corporate interest, public education, democratic governance, neoliberalism, neoconservatism

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