Members of the state's education group voted to boycott businessses owned by Raleigh businessman Art Pope.
Brian Lewis, lobbyist for the N.C. Association of Educators, said Pope takes profits out of poor communities to fund organizations that work against the interests of poor people and public education.
Pope, who owns Variety Wholesalers, has used his money to bankroll groups such as the Civitas Institute and the John Locke Foundation. He is also an Americans for Prosperity director. The groups have taken positions and espoused views that NCAE opposes.
"He funds things that attack not only teachers, but students," Lewis said.
NCAE members voted to boycott Pope-owned stores at their conventiont two weeks ago, but the group is waiting to hear back from the state NAACP on whether they will join in before it makes a formal announcement, Lewis said.
Pope said NCAE is "lying about my record of support for public schools."
While he was in the legislature, Pope said he supported increased funding for low wealth schools, supported the ABC reforms and was a principal supporter of a bill to expedite school construction.
The state Democratic Party called for a boycott of Variety Wholesalers stores before the election last fall. Pope said it had no effect on sales.
To read Pope's full response to the NCAE boycott and to a recent NCAE video about charter schools, click on attached document.
Art Pope Respond NCAE.doc