APS Candidate, Baldon, Funded Heavily by Pro-Charter Interests


aretta(APN) ATLANTA — Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education District 2 candidate Aretta Baldon, a strong proponent of charter schools who has advanced to the October 15, 2019 Run-off Election, is heavily funded by charter school interests, according to an analysis obtained by Atlanta Progressive News from an APN reader.


Baldon is in a Run-off with Davida Huntley.


Atlanta Public Schools has been the center of debate around privatization and charter-ization of public schools.  


APS has opened more and more charter schools while closing public schools over the last couple decades.


An analysis of Baldon’s September 06, 2019 campaign finance disclosure, submitted September 09, reveals the following:


Arthur Blank, a charter school philanthropist, gave 2,800 dollars to Baldon.  In addition, three Blank Foundation or Blank business employees, and one spouse of a Blank employee, gave a total of 5,200 dollars.


Former APS BOE Member Mark Riley, a charter school activist, donated four hundred dollars to Baldon.


Two employees of Cousins Family businesses, headed by charter school proponent and philanthropist Tom Cousins, donated a total of 3,050 dollars to Baldon.


Alison Chiock of Drew Charter School donated 250 dollars to Baldon.


Eight Board Members of KIPP Metro Atlanta, a private charter school firm, donated to Baldon for a total of 5,400 dollars.


Curley Jr. Dossman of the Georgia Pacific Foundation, which is pro-charter schools, donated one thousand dollars.


Charlton Harris of the Imhotep Academy, a private school, donated five hundred dollars to Baldon .


Three individuals serving on private school boards–J. Donald Childress, Allegra Lawrence Hardy, and Staci Lynch–donated a total of 3,850 dollars to Baldon.


Carla Knoblock, a “education reform” philanthropist who has given to Yes Prep Public Schools, gave 1,500 dollars to Baldon.  Emily Knoblock, an apparent relative, also gave 1,500 dollars.


In addition, Atlanta City Councilman Matt Westmoreland (Post 2-at-large) donated one hundred dollars to Baldon.  


Westmoreland, who formerly served on the APS BOE as the District 3 representative, has been a strong proponent of charter schools.   In recent weeks, he has been publicly campaigning in opposition to the BOE’s decision not to renew the contract of Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, who was a very pro-charter Superintendent.




As previously reported by APN, a lawsuit challenging the results of the APS BOE District 2 Special Election filed by candidate Keisha Carey, alleges that candidate Davida Huntley was illegally campaigning on Election Day at the Abernathy Towers senior highrise that is also a polling place.




APN reached Huntley by phone on Monday, October 07, 2019, and asked Huntley whether it was true that she was physically present at the polling place on Election Day.


Huntley said she had not seen the lawsuit and wanted to review it prior to responding.


It is unclear why it would be necessary for Huntley to review the lawsuit before answering a simple factual question, unless she really was there for at least some portion of Election Day.  After all, if it were untrue, it would have been quite easy to deny the allegations.


(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2019)

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