Billionaire churns up charter school controversy in Texas

Education reform, charter school expansion, merit pay, pension crises — all are hot topics in political campaigns in Illinois and other states too. Also happening here and elsewhere: the involvement and financial backing of megarich hedge fund managers who want to change the way government operates.

In Illinois, Citadel’s Ken Griffin is supporting GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner.

In Texas, billionaire John Arnold, a former Enron trader and hedge fund manager, first focused on public employee pension funds and now is interested in changing the way education works, particularly charter schools in Dallas, according to an article in Too Much, an online weekly newsletter that is the project of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good of the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies.

Arnold’s efforts in Dallas come after his foundation spent $25 million to expand charter schools in New Orleans, where the city’s school district became the first all-charter district in the country.

RELATED: Griffin’s millions flag a ‘do or die’ governor’s race for GOP Billionaire Ken Griffin gives Rauner record-breaking $2.5 million Education gaining steam as top issue in governor’s race

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