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Why This Teachers Union Is Fighting The Charter School Ballot Question16:00
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Next-door neighbors on Orchard Street in Watertown show their opinions about Question 2, one sign supporting the expansion of charter schools and one sign opposing it. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Next-door neighbors on Orchard Street in Watertown show their opinions about Question 2, one sign supporting the expansion of charter schools and one sign opposing it. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
This article is more than 2 years old.

The proposal to lift the cap on charter schools is the single most expensively fought ballot question in Massachusetts history. Both sides have raised $33 million so far. That's $3 million more than what was spent on all ballot questions combined in 2014.

Proponents of lifting the charter school cap have raised $21 million raised so far. Seventy-five percent of that is from five nonprofits. By far the largest, is New York-based Families for Excellent Schools, which does not have to disclose its donors.

They declined our interview requests, as did several other individual donors. But, we did hear from one — entrepreneur Chuck Longfield. He donated $100,000 to the "Yes on Two" side. We spoke with him on Monday.

On the no side, 99 percent of the $12 million raised so far has come from teachers unions: the Massachusetts Teachers Association, The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.

We sat down with the president of the American Federation of Teachers in Massachusetts, Tom Gosnell, to discuss the ballot question.

Guest

Tom Gosnell, president of the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, which tweets @AFTMass. He's also a longtime member of the Boston Teachers Union.

This segment aired on November 3, 2016.

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