Charter school advocates spend big in county Board of Education race

Charter school advocates are once again spending big bucks on the Sacramento County Office of Education election.

In recent years, the California Charter Schools Association has emerged as a major player in supporting candidates for the board. In 2016, charter advocates spent nearly $500,000 to support three candidates– two won seats.

In addition to providing oversight for Sacramento County school districts, the seven-member education board reviews the charters of countywide charter school systems and hears appeals from charter schools whose applications have been rejected by local school districts.

This year, the board is focusing on Paul Keefer, 51, who is running for the Area 3 seat against Sacramento State professor Richard Launey, 73. Keefer is the executive director of Pacific Charter Institute, a charter school network with four charters serving 2,617 students in 16 counties, according to its web site.

By Thursday charter advocates had contributed $154,255 to Keefer’s campaign, according to statements filed with the county.

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