The unions -- and often the media -- like to focus on how much reformers are spending on campaigns and elections, and how the money is coming from foundations and billionaires, and how the money sometimes comes from or goes to Republicans.
Indeed, there's a lot more school reform advocacy and campaign work going on than there used to be, and in a perfect world money and politics wouldn't be such a big part of what goes on in schools.
But what often gets left out of the campaign spending story is that unions still usually outspend the reformers by a ton, and have been doing so for decades, and that unions sometimes even endorse and contribute to Republican candidates.
A recent Slate article notes that the NEA's $6.4M in 2012 spending is more than twice as much as StudentsFirst nationwide.
A New York Daily News article about the charter school fight going on there notes that the unions have their own campaign fund, lobbyists, and "grassroots" efforts.
Closer to home, Politico notes that IFT and IEA and other public employee unions have "jumped headlong into the governor's race in Illinois - by endorsing a candidate in the Republican primary" and spending $3 million to praise him.
"Senator Dillard has been a tireless advocate for public schools and our communities and a strong voice for teachers and retirees," IFT president Dan Montgomery said.
Politics isn't for the squeamish, and we're all rightly disgusted at some of the deals and donations that are involved. But let's not pretend that only one side of the debate is practicing these dark arts.