Michael Bloomberg joined a group of wealthy businessmen supporting the candidacy of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to become the next governor of California.
The billionaire media mogul donated $1.5 million to the Families & Teachers for Villaraigosa, a political action committee (PAC) that supports charter schools, according to the New York Post.
Bloomberg is a strong supporter of charter schools, which operate independently of the state school system but receive government funding. In fact, during his three terms as New York City mayor, he championed charter schools, which outperformed traditional schools. Public education reform is one of his legacies as a politician.
Aside from Bloomberg, the other wealthy donors helping Villaraigosa win the California gubernatorial race include the following:
• Reed Hasting, the founder and CEO of Netflix—donated $7 million
• Eli Broad, the founder of The Broad Foundation—donated $2.5 million
• Alice Walton, the daughter of Wal-Mart Stores founder Sam Walton—donated $750,000
• Richard Riordan, a former mayor of Los Angeles and owner of Original Pantry Café and Gladstobe Malibu—donated $1 million
• Arthur Rock, a legendary venture capitalist—donated $1 million
• William E. Oberndorf, the chairman of Obendorf Enterprises, LLC—donated $2 million
Villaraigosa wants quality education for every child
Prior to the California governor-candidates forum on Tuesday, Villaraigosa discussed his position on education and other issues.
According to him, “My goal has always been simple: to ensure that every child in the city had the kind of quality education that would allow him or her to reach their full potential.”
Villaraigosa believes that “transparency around performance” is critical to improve schools. He emphasized that the state can help low-performing schools get better by ensuring educational justice. He explained that it is important to make sure the Local Control Funding Formula resources get to the kids who need them the most.
Additionally, Villaraigosa emphasized that it is important to streamline accountability systems and support teachers in transforming their instructional practices.
Furthermore, Villaraigosa said he will develop a Master Plan for Early Education if he becomes the next governor of California. His plan has two primary goals: universal access to preschool and full-day kindergarten.
Moreover, he said, “If we’re going to get serious about closing the achievement gap, we have to start at the beginning.” He wants to do the following:
● Increase the availability of high-quality, full-day early childhood education;
● Implement a more unified early childhood education system;
● Provide sustainable funding for these priorities.
“As a former speaker and mayor, I know there is no progress without resources, and I know to make tough calls to make sure we advance the goals we set for ourselves,” said Villaraigosa.
The LA School Report in partnership with The Chronicle of Social Change published an article regarding Villaraigosa’s answers to questions on different issues.