The money keeps flowing into local school board races and education ballot initiatives from outsiders with deep pockets. (Examples are here and here and here and here.)

Most school board races are inexpensive; according to the National Schools Boards Association, a 2010 survey showed that nearly 90 percent of elected members said that they spent less than $5,000 on their most recent campaign.

Now take a look at the race in New Orleans for the right to represent District 3 of the Orleans Parish school board, which operates fewer than 20 schools in the city (where most of the schools are charter schools run by the Recovery School District). Sarah Newell Usdin, one of the city’s most prominent charter school backers, is taking a lot of money from people like Joel Klein to run against Karran Harper Royal, a public school parent in New Orleans who has long been an advocate for special education students, and incumbent Brett Bonin, a lawyer.

Usdin has taken in more than $110,000 in donations from people who include Klein, the former chancellor of New York City public schools (who doesn’t live in New Orleans); Netflix founder Reed Hastings (who doesn’t live in New Orleans) and author Walter Isaacson (who was born in New Orleans), according to the Times-Picayune newspaper. Donation disclosure records show that from Jan. 1 to Sept. 27, Bonin raised $24,990; Royal, $5,569; and Usdin, $110,468.