The White House confirmed Monday that President Barack Obama is neutral on ballot Question 2 in Massachusetts, a measure that would increase the number of charter schools in the state.
A mailing sent out to voters last weekend urged voters to “Help secure President Obama’s education legacy” by voting yes on Question 2.
The flier was sent out by the Advancing Obama’s Legacy Ballot Committee, a new group affiliated with Democrats for Education Reform.
The flier, which features a large photograph of Obama, led to complaints on social media that the committee was trying to mislead voters into thinking Obama supports Question 2.
A White House official said the president has not taken a position for or against Question 2. He also said the president is not affiliated with the Advancing Obama’s Legacy Ballot Committee.
Matt Wilder, a spokesman for Democrats for Education Reform, said the flier was not meant to mislead.
“Our intention was not to suggest the president had endorsed,” he said.
He said the intention was to remind voters that Obama has long supported charter schools and other forms of education reform.
Obama’s present and former education secretaries also support charter schools and their expansion, he said.
Former Secretary Arne Duncan attended an event to support charter school expansion.
Democrats for Education Reform formed the ballot committee for the Massachusetts referendum campaign, he said.
Maurice Cunningham, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts, said the groups are part of a “dark money” campaign effort.
“Obama’s Legacy is a front for Democrats for Education Reform, which is a front for Education Reform Now, which is a front for NY hedge fund billionaires,” he said.
Wilder points out Cunningham is a member of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, which opposes Question 2.
Cunningham said he was opposed to “dark money” and has not taken a position on charter school expansion.
Question 2 would lift a cap on charter school and allow 12 new ones every year.