The title of the News & Observer editorial is “Big money equals big influence in schools.”  It is a title that could apply to the National Education Association and their state affiliate, the N.C. Association of Educators.  They pour tens of thousands of dollars into the campaign accounts of Democratic candidates and elected officials in exchange for, as much as possible, big influence in schools. But that is acceptable to the editorial board because Democrats champion “the state’s public school system, which has served North Carolina well for over 100 years and transformed the state by offering opportunity to all children…”  (The last part of that statement is debatable.)

But this is the N&O we’re talking about here, so their target is Republicans who support charter schools, vouchers, and other types of educational options. The editors write,

This seems to represent yet another attempt by Republican legislators to undermine conventional public education, along with their lifting the cap on charter schools – which are funded by the state but operate free of many of the rules governing conventional schools – and their establishment of a preposterous “voucher” program wherein public money goes to parents to help them send their children to private schools.

Their nonsense reminded me of a recent Atlantic interview with Alan Jacobs, a Baylor University professor and author of How to Think.  Jacobs says,
Conspiracy theories tend to arise when you can’t think of any rational explanation for people believing or acting in a certain way. The more absurd you think your political or moral or spiritual opponents’ views are, the more likely you are to look for some explanation other than the simplest one, which is that they believe it’s true.
And the simplest explanation is that Republicans believe that school choice helps kids.  There are no secret meetings where Republicans outline plans to “undermine conventional public education.”