Access to a good education can be a life-changing experience. I believe that every kid deserves what I was lucky to get - a shot at a great education.

That's why, working with supporters of school choice, I helped create the Students First PAC, a nonpartisan political action committee devoted to supporting candidates who are unflinchingly supportive of civil rights issues and are willing to fight to improve our educational system.

Unfortunately, in terms that were equally insulting and offensive, the editorial about our support for State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams missed the mark ("Campaign cash," May 23). Referring to us as "school-choice sugar daddies," the editorial sought to impugn our motives and challenge Williams' integrity by suggesting that we were attempting to buy access and silence the voices of average citizens.

In fact, quite the opposite is true.

The purpose of the Students First PAC is to give voice to the thousands of low-income families in this state whose children are stuck in failing schools and whose voices are ignored by the media and the political establishment.

We will continue to donate to both Democratic and Republican candidates who support school choice, and we will continue to support and practice full campaign-donation disclosure. We are a totally transparent organization. Students First and its donors seek no business with the state, we will pursue no contracts with any government agency, and we challenge other campaign donors to uphold a similar standard.

Joe Watkins

Chairman, Students First