BELOIT – A flyer and a new website, beloitstudentsmatter.com, promoted Christine Raleigh and State Superintendent of Public Education, Deborah Kerr.
It had also mentioned Jason Jacobson as a candidate for enrollment on the Beloit School Board, although Jacobson emailed the Daily News on Wednesday that he would be dropping out of the race because of a family emergency.
The flyer encourages people to vote on April 6th for candidates who prioritize full-time personal learning.
According to the website, the creators are a grassroots group of parents, students and other affected citizens who are not affiliated with any political group or campaign and do not accept donations.
However, they do not disclose the specific identity of any of the creators. Some have wondered if the flyer and website might violate the campaign funding allocation / disclaimer requirements.
For example, any printed advertisement or other communication expressing endorsement of a candidate who is paid through a contribution or payout should include an association that identifies the person (s) who paid for the communication and in in some cases the person (s) who authorized the communication?
According to the Wisconsin State Ethics Committee website, when a committee submits an express endorsement notice in consultation with a nominee committee, both the committee making the payment and the committee that accepts the notice in kind should see the attribution are listed at https://ethics.wi.gov/Pages/CampaignFinance/AttributionRequirements.aspx.
Raleigh said the flyer and website are not part of or funded by their campaign. Raleigh added that she had not heard from the website and had not seen the flyer since Monday.
The site is experiencing issues with board members allegedly accepting campaign submissions from the Beloit Education Association (BEA), which the site claims were instrumental in keeping schools in the Beloit school district closed. The website also asks why some of the board members do not attend meetings in person and why some of them turn off their cameras during the meetings.
The website also contains links to help parents enroll in other school districts, private schools, and the new Lincoln Academy public charter. It also provides information for educators on how to unsubscribe from their union.