Michelle Rhee rose to prominence during her days as D.C. school chancellor, with a big boost from the power philanthropists. Her tough accountability policies, mass firings of teachers and union bashing drew praise from the Democratic Party establishment, including Arne Duncan and Rhee's mentor, then N.Y. chancellor, Joel Klein. Once Rhee got run out of town by D.C. voters, her liberal Democratic facade was dropped. Like Klein, who went to work for the world's most notorious reactionary Rupert Murdoch, Rhee has become the face of right-wing education "reform" nationally.
Rhee has most recently been supporting a far-right Michigan politician, Rep. Paul Scott (R-Grand Blanc) in his struggle to avoid being recalled next month. Scott, an anti-gay crusader and opponent of legal abortion, is also a vocal support of Gov. Rick Snyder who is cutting badly needed funding for public education from his budget.
The Flint Journal reports that Rhee's group Student First, has already committed $73,000 to help Scott. Students First has already poured nearly $1 million into the campaign to take away teacher tenure and weaken teachers' collective-bargain rights. Scott was instrumental in shaping anti-union legislation.
Rhee's support for this Tea Party politician implies that her supposedly non-partisan group is also backing Snyder’s economic and education policies, which have lead to significant reductions in the state’s K-12 school aid. Included among the budget that Snyder signed earlier this year was a whopping $300 million aid reduction to schools statewide. Additionally, there was a $100 million cut to aid to cities, which also serves to negatively impact schools.