The California Charter School Association (CCSA) is the largest and most visible pro-charter organization in Los Angeles’ political scene. CCSA has chosen to endorse just one candidate in LAUSD’s 2020 school board elections, but that doesn’t mean that pro-charter candidates aren’t receiving millions of dollars in support from independent expenditure committees (IEC’s) aligned with the charter school movement.

In LAUSD District 3, the singularly favored CCSA Candidate is Madeline Koziatek, a specialist in community outreach who works at a charter school. When CCSA selects a candidate the tendency in giving is of shock and awe. Amongst other activities, the CCSA is responsible for the attack on Scott Schmerelson that has been called everything from dishonest to anti-semitic.

However, pro-charter candidates not in District 3 are not being left without support. One local free marketeer is functioning as de facto surrogate donor for the group by privately funding prodigious IEs in support and opposition to all four LAUSD races. Bill Bloomfield is a major benefactor of education reform groups such as Parent Revolution, Educators For Excellence, Students Matter, and Great Public Schools LA. Together with his immediate family he has contributed $3.2m between 2013-2016 to CCSA.

The figure below is a visual representation of the volume and distribution of IEs in each Board District race. The boxes are proportional to spending to quickly convey the overall comparative benefit not just of “positive” spending in support of a candidate (upper set of boxes), but in addition the converse detrimental, “negative” effect from spending in opposition (lower set of boxes). Each box is labeled with the initials of the candidate benefiting from the spending in support and in opposition (a competitor identifiable by the donor’s positive contributions).


The figure can be enlarged here. The embedded table (enlarge it here) traces the money to its donor; there are just seven entities contributing nearly $5m collectively. Nearly half the total IEs hail from Bill Bloomfield alone. And nearly half of Bloomfield’s spending is on negative campaigns, invariably long-discredited and thoroughly vicious misinformation about his candidate’s opponents. The rest of all negative spending is attributable to CCSA.

CCSA is a political trade organization that fundraises, provides lobbying, legal and administrative services to member charter schools and groups, and controls independent expenditure committees to support its candidates and ideology.

These data were downloaded 2/20/20 from the open portal maintained by the City of LA’s Ethics Commission. Report complaints to them here. The figure and its embedded table will be updated sporadically.