Posts by: Joseph

Documents obtained by Plunderbund show that a company owned by one of Ohio’s largest charter school operators is failing to deliver on a major contract with the state.   The documents also indicate that former employees of the company, now supervising the project for the state, likely retaliated against public employees who questioned the company’s failures.  The company’s owner, William Lager, is one of the biggest Republican political donors in Ohio.

According to an investigation report from the Ohio State University’s Office of University Compliance and Integrity (OUCI), “Employees with the Ohio Technology Consortium (OH-TECH)… reported that a project to implement a statewide K-12 learning management system […]

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Last week Ohio Inspector General Randy Meyer finally provided us a limited and redacted set of transcripts for the interviews conducted as part of the CoinGate investigation     We are making all of those interviews available for download below in the format received by the IG’s office.   Note:  the records were delivered seventeen months after our public record request and nearly a decade after the original IG investigation started.

CoinGate is one of Ohio’s best-known political scandals.  Wikipedia sums it up nicely: “The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) invested hundreds of millions of dollars in high risk or unconventional investment vehicles run […]

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The Akron Beacon Journal reported last week that another failed charter school, the Next Frontier Academy, closed leaving at least 60 students  displaced.  It’s the same sad and sorry story we continue to hear about Ohio’s disastrous charter school experiment:  misspent state money. unqualified staff and a severe lack of oversight by the state.

Here are the highlights from the ABJ story:

“Like 200 other charters, the school has closed, adding to the $1 billion in taxpayer funding given to failed charter schools. More charter schools closed last year than at any point in the industry’s 17-year history in Ohio” “Ohio Department of Education […]

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The Ohio Supreme Court ruled today that giant charter school operator White Hat Management can continue to “take possession of the assets of charter schools — assets purchased with public money — and then charge the public to buy them back.”  Not surprisingly, the justices that voted in favor of White Hat have received huge campaign contributions from White Hat’s owner.

The ABJ sums up the background story quite well:

The court ruled in favor of White Hat, one of the largest for-profit school management companies in the country, against 10 of its former Hope academies and Life Skills Centers, […]

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Plunderbund recently broke the story that David Hansen, John Kasich’s disgraced school choice chief, was being considered for a job to co-head the Franklin County early voting center. ProgressOhio reported yesterday that Republican members of the Franklin County BOE are no longer considering Hansen for the gig.  Given what we know about Hansen’s unethical and likely-illegal pattern of behavior, this is probably for the best.

According to Ben Piscitelli, spokesman for the Franklin County Board of Elections, Hansen worked for the BOE on two previous occasions.  “Hansen was hired in 2009 as manager of administrative services in our fiscal department and would have been responsible […]

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Plunderbund has heard from multiple sources that Republicans on the Franklin County Board of Elections (BOE) have discussed hiring David Hansen, John Kasich’s disgraced school choice chief, to run the county’s early voting center. The voting center is co-run by one Republican employee and one picked by the Democrats on the BOE.

Hansen was forced to resign from his position with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) in mid-July after it was revealed that he illegally altered data on an official state report in order to improve the rankings of some large charter school sponsors and operators.  The illegal tampering was confirmed in […]

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Documents released on Thursday confirm that David Hansen, John Kasich’s former school choice chief, intentionally altered data about charter schools on a state report in order to improve the rankings of some large charter school sponsors- some of whom are big campaign donors to John Kasich and other Ohio Republicans.    The records show that other Ohio Department of Education staff warned Hansen that doing so might be illegal.

Hansen, husband of Beth Hansen, John Kasich’s chief of staff, had previously been caught altering data to improve charter school rankings when he worked at the Buckeye Institute.  Like John Kasich, […]

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David Hansen resigned from his job as John Kasich’s hand-picked Charter School Czar back in July after it was discovered that he illegally withheld damaging rating data from charter sponsor evaluations.  On Thursday, seven weeks later, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) finally released some public records related to that charter school data scandal.

An initial review of the records by Plunderbund shows that Hansen was actively communicating with representatives of charter school sponsors who would eventually benefit from his data manipulation. It also shows that ODE staff members intentionally avoided sharing the manipulated calculations via printouts or email, potentially shielding those calculations from public records […]

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As John Kasich continues to hone his presidential campaign message for a national audience, one top theme seems to be emerging: John Kasich is a budget hawk who will cut taxes, decrease spending and eliminate the nation debt – just like he did in Ohio.


This isn’t just everyday political spin… it’s an outright lie.

Since taking office, Kasich has overseen an increase in Ohio’s debt burden and debt service payments, according to the Ohio Office of Budget and Management.   And he’s proposed some massive tax increases while increasing state spending by billions in each of his biennial budgets.

Democratic Governor Ted Strickland’s final […]

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John Kasich was on CNN yesterday attempting to “clarify” his position on immigration, telling Dana Bash “I don’t favor [a direct path to] citizenship because as I teach my kids, you don’t jump the line to get into a Taylor Swift concert.”

We can’t confirm or dispute the lessons Kasich has taught his daughters about Taylor Swift shows, but we can confirm that it’s been a very long time since Kasich has waited in line for a concert or anything else for that matter.

When Ohio Governor John Kasich appeared on CNN yesterday morning to talk with Jake Tapper, he was faced with a question about  Donld Trump’s latest round of sexist comments.  Kasich stuck to his script, refusing to directly attack Trump while using the opportunity to talk about himself.  Kasich discussed the fact that his chief of staff is a woman, and hinted that hiring women is top priority. “I actively seek out and recruit women to be involved,” Kasich said.  “Because, uh,  like I say, they make things better.”

We took a look at the staff list for Kasich’s office and, to be fair, […]

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