Education

Charter school backers have outspent teachers in 2 major races

Former L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa administers the oath of office to incumbent Monica Garcia at the Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California on July 6, 2017.
Former L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa administers the oath of office to incumbent Monica Garcia at the Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California on July 6, 2017.
Daryl Barker/KPCC

Charter school advocates are far outpacing teachers unions in spending to support candidates for California governor and state schools chief.

Wealthy donors who support charter schools and education reform have poured more than $22 million into independent committees to support former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for governor and former schools executive Marshall Tuck for state schools chief.

Teachers unions have dropped about $4 million on committees to back Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom for governor and Tony Thurmond for superintendent.

All four men are Democrats who want more money for public schools. But they differ on state officials' role in improving schools and how to handle nonprofit charter schools. Charter schools are publicly funded but typically run independently of the traditional public school system.