That’s right.  $50 million.

California elects their state superintendent of education (which makes no sense to me) and when all the counting was over in a hotly-contested race, state legislator Tony Thurmand defeated former charter school exec, Marshall Tuck.

As education reporter Valerie Strauss of The Washington Post explains here, the price tag for the two campaigns totaled $50 million.

Still, there are some who want us to believe that education today is more about helping children than making money.  That is a very weak argument when you spend $50 million.  Interestingly, neither Thurmond or Tuck are former educators.

Some excerpts:

“The election of Thurmond was a victory for forces in California who want to reform the scandal-ridden charter school sector and a blow to the charter school lobby and wealthy philanthropists, some of them out of state, who had poured millions into Tuck’s campaign. 

The race was the latest chapter in a long-running debate about public education in a state with severely underfunded traditional school districts. California has been called the Wild West when it comes to charters because of repeated financial and other scandals in the sector. The state has more charter schools — which are publicly funded but privately operated — and more charter students than any other state. There are about 1,275 charter schools that enroll about 630,000 students. Nearly 35 charter schools with some 25,000 students are run by five for-profit companies.

Thurmond said he wants to spend more money on traditional schools and stop the expansion of charters until funding and transparency issues are resolved. Tuck does not want to stop expansion, though he agreed with Thurmond that poor-performing charters should be shut and for-profits should be banned.”