Pro-charter school group pays $425,000 settlement to state

Investigators say the group violated state campaign finance laws

BOSTON (AP) — A New York-based group that backed last year’s charter school ballot question has paid more than $425,000 to Massachusetts as part of a campaign finance settlement.

The payment by Families for Excellent Schools-Advocacy is the largest civil forfeiture in the 44-year history of the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

Investigators say the group violated state campaign finance laws by raising money from individuals and then contributing that money, more than $15 million, to the Great Schools Massachusetts Ballot Question Committee in a manner intended to disguise the source of the money.

The question, which would have raised the state cap on charter schools, failed.

Families for Excellent Schools CEO Jeremiah Kittredge says they believed they complied with all laws, but resolved the matter so they could move forward.

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