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Charter School Funding Headed by
Board of Ed Chairman?

Gov. Romney's proposal to change state law and allow networks or chains of charter schools operated by a single entity just might have something to do with work of Board of Education Chairman James Peyser.

Two months ago Peyser left the Romney Administration to join a venture capital group that - guess what - bankrolls the startup of chains of charter schools. The company, NewSchools Venture Fund, has been most active in California but Peyser's role is to promote Charter Management Organizations in the East.

Interestingly, one of the CMOs that NewSchools have funded is High Tech High, which is collaborating with the founding group of the Cambridge charter proposal.

The CMO's bankrolled by NewSchools start out as "non-profits" but at least one has been acquired by the for-profit Edison Schools. NewSchools East has been operating from space provided by the Boston Foundation, an enormously wealthy and powerful foundation that has provided substantial funding to the Massachusetts Charter School Association.

Romney's proposed change is big business, in more than one sense of the term.

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