Stand for Children Floods School Board Races With Money The pro-charter group's independent expenditure campaign is responsible for the effort
Pro-charter school group Stand for Children poured more than $230,000 into Nashville school board races in the month of July, according to campaign finance disclosures, an unprecedented independent expenditure into local educational politics.
Stand for Children also lists nearly $160,000 in expenses for polling and advertising not itemized by a particular race. The group has spent another $8,763 on canvassers for school board races.
When reached for comment, Dan O'Donnell, the Nashville director for Stand for Children Tennessee, said that he was not responsible for the spending but would put the Scene in contact with Krista Spurgin, who works for Stand for Children's Independent Expenditure committee and is listed as part of Stand for Children's national staff. O'Donnell made a distinction between the two groups: Stand for Children Tennessee's political action committee has been an advocate for a number of policies, including expanded pre-K as well as charter schools, and has been a longtime presence in Nashville education circles. The Independent Expenditure Committee is run by "someone else entirely" and "I found out about the disclosures when you did."
"These are incredibly important school board races on the most important issue in Nashville and advocacy groups are going to advocate in the best way that they know how," O'Donnell says. "There's nothing unusual about having a political action committee and an independent expenditure campaign."
Highlighting the confusion between the two is the fact that both list 1207 18th Ave. S as their address.
Predictably, the targets of the money were angered by the expenditures.