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Alice Walton

Pro-charter school question drawing out-of-state backers

A ballot question aimed at expanding the number of charter schools in the state is being funded by a network of deep-pocketed backers, with much of the money coming from outside.

Nearly half of the $12 million raised to support the charter school question comes from the New York-based Families for Excellent Schools, according to an Associated Press review of records filed with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance. Other funders include independent former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and two Arizona-based heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune.

There also are strong ties between the administration of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, a long-time charter school supporter,...