The Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools (OAPCS) 10th annual conference is being held on December 6-8 in Columbus Ohio.
Organizations typically honor special friends in high places. State Auditor Dave Yost and Senator Cliff Hite are special OAPCS honorees this year.
Representative Andrew Brenner is also being featured during some special events at the conference.
All three men have received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the ECOT founder Bill Lager.
Ron Packard, the former K-12, Inc. online charter company (Ohio Virtual Academy) and now owner of several Ohio charters is prominent on the program. […]Full Story... →
What does it take to get an elected official’s attention about investigating potential wrongdoing and conflicts-of-interest in the Ohio charter school industry? If it’s Ohio Auditor Dave Yost, it might take an earthquake or a coup in a foreign country to wake him up from his self-induced coma and avoidance of responsibility in protecting public funds.
On October 11, the policy group, Progress Ohio, hosted a press conference which featured Robert Amsterdam, a Washington-based attorney who discussed a complaint sent to Yost that was based on an investigation of Concept Schools, a charter management organization that operates 17 publicly […]Full Story... →
On a conference call with reporters Wednesday, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown voiced his strong support for special accountability and transparency conditions placed on a $71 million charter school grant awarded to Ohio by the U.S. Department of Education.
Senator Brown, in his second term representing Ohio in Washington but looking ahead two years to another reelection cycle, offered ample reasons why Ohio’s expensive system of for-profit “pubic” schools rightfully qualifies for scandal status. He said it’s a disgrace that has defrauded taxpayers so much that its national reputation earned it the ignominious title, “the wild west” of charter school systems […]Full Story... →
If “open secret” is one of the top-listed oxymorons used in everyday conversation, chances are we won’t see –or better yet, hear much longer– another contradictory term: “public charter school.”
That’s because a ruling on August 24 by the National Labor Relations Board might help to eventually put the term “public charter school” in the oxymoron trash bin.
In a New York case involving the efforts of a union to organize the staff at the Hyde Leadership charter school, the NLRB concluded that the school should be subject to its jurisdiction, rather than the Public Employee Relations Board, since Full Story... →
Drip, drip, drip.
The steady stream of critical stories about the charter school Goliath named ECOT now is approaching a critical level, ready to create a flood in the GOP Statehouse and in the offices of the mega-giant’s lobbyists well before this year’s elections. If a Richard Nixon-type was somehow in command at this stage of the game and dealing with the proliferating ECOT mess, he would have called in the Plumbers and the renowned Haldeman and Erlichman firm to deal with the debacle.
No, the ECOT flood is not attributable to global warming, which Republicans don’t believe in, but […]Full Story... →
Ohio’s online charter schools have come under scrutiny lately for questions about their attendance. Multiple smaller online schools have been found to have significantly overstated their enrollment numbers, resulting in a significant amount of state tax dollars being over-billed by the schools’ operators.
State Senator Joe Schiavoni introduced legislation in March of this year that would seek to hold online schools more accountable for accurate attendance records.
“We need to make sure that online schools are accurately reporting attendance and not collecting tax dollars for students who never log in to take classes,” said Senator Schiavoni. “Online schools must be […]Full Story... →
In downtown Columbus Thursday, a new study based on years worth of work shows millions of federal tax dollars intended for high-performing charter schools have actually gone to some of Ohio’s worst. More problematic was the news that many millions went to other charter schools that never even opened.
The federal government has sent more money to Ohio to expand “high-performing” charter schools than all but two other states, but Ohio spent millions on some of the lowest-performing schools. And nearly $4 million went to schools that never opened, according to a new analysis, a media release announcing “Belly Up” […]Full Story... →
After months of waiting for the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to release public records related to last summer’s charter school scandal, Plunderbund Media LLC has filed a lawsuit to force Governor John Kasich’s representatives at the ODE to turn over emails from David Hansen, Kasich’s hand-picked and now-disgraced Charter School Czar.
Hansen, husband of trusted Kasich adviser Beth Hansen, resigned from his state job back in July 2015 after it was discovered he illegally withheld damaging rating data from charter sponsor evaluations. Seven weeks later, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) finally released some public records related to that charter school data scandal. […]Full Story... →
Last fall, the Columbus Dispatch published an article, Are local school taxes subsidizing Ohio Charters? that confirmed the Byzantine nature of Ohio school finance and the complexities surrounding the calculation of state school aid. If comprehending how the formulas work which allow districts to receive state aid is enough of a challenge, readers also learned that the state was adding insult to financial injury by sending extra money to charters by calculating the amount of local support in the charter aid formula. This calculation method further assists charters by using the local share amount (viz., local property taxes raised […]Full Story... →
We recently told you that Franklin County Commissioner and Democrat Paula Brooks is in league with Bill Lager – the man at the center of the charter pay-to-play scandal. She received $25,000 from him for her re-election campaign and her campaign hired a company aligned with Lager lobbyist Neil Clark to buy its TV time.
Brooks isn’t the only incumbent Democrat on the ballot aligned with Lager.
Sheriff Zach Scott gets money too. His failed run for mayor last year received $25,000 from Lager – money that arrived 9 days after Scott spoke at the 2105 ECOT graduation. Lager […]Full Story... →
Ohio’s charter school scandal finally has the potential to hurt Gov. John Kasich – just as his run for President banks on winning Ohio’s March 15th primary.
Given the scandal’s potential to hurt Kasich and his fellow Republicans, why is Franklin County Democrat Paula Brooks suddenly BFFs with Bill Lager – the man at the center of the charter pay-to-play scandal? And why is Brooks’ re-election campaign paying money to a company aligned with Lager lobbyist Neil Clark? For more than three decades Clark has helped Republicans maintain their majority in the Ohio Senate.
As the Columbus Dispatch reported […]Full Story... →