Wake Ed

July 4, 2014

NEA accuses Koch brothers of funding former Wake County school board majority

The National Education Association charges that "ALEC-endorsed candidates" using "Koch dollars" won the 2009 Wake County school board elections. But ALEC doesn't endorse candidates and the Koch brothers didn't spend money in the campaign.

Add the National Education Association to those accusing the conservative Koch brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) of having backed the Wake County school board's former Republican majority that won the 2009 elections.

"Take for example Wake County, North Carolina," says a post Wednesday on the NEA's Education Votes website. "ALEC-endorsed candidates outspent their opponents hardily (sic) thanks to Koch dollars and took over the school board. They enacted ALEC-backed policies, even going so far as to resegregate the schools."

The NEA adds that "Wake County voted out the Koch-funded school board members who put the interests of their donors before those of the community."

Like other liberal groups who've made the charge, the NEA cites the " Koch Brothers Exposed" documentary by Robert Greenwald as a source. Greenwald is quoted in the post as saying "we have an amazing team of researchers. They've spent -they've literally been working 18, 20 hours a day trying to get the numbers, get the facts,"

But neither Charles Koch or David Koch gave money in 2009 to the candidates or to the political action committees that backed them or to the Wake County Republican Party. ALEC doesn't endorse candidates.

The accuracy of the Greenwald documentary has been hotly disputed locally since it first came out in 2011.

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The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui.

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