Ohio: “It’s Not About the %&*%$% Kids, It’s About the Money”

Denis Smith once worked in the charter office of the Ohio State Department of Education. Now that he is retired, he writes often about the scams and frauds in Ohio’s charter sector.

In this article, he points out that political contributions by its founder William Lager have greased the way for ECOT to claim hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money for a very low-performing cyber-charter.

The good news that he brings is that the Columbus Dispatch, an influential newspaper in the state, is all over the charter scams and is acting as a guardian of the public interest. Some Republicans even felt impelled to return charter money because it has become “radioactive.”

Smith says he once took a series of proposals for charter reform to a key legislator and the legislator was not interested.

That one proposal he thought would never happen was an outright ban on political contributions by charter schools and their management companies to state political parties and candidates, as they use public funds to craft state law to their liking, including more than 150 exemptions from the educational requirements provided in Section 3314 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Unless we’re terribly naïve about the corrupt, indeed corrosive effects of money on the legislature, the great Swedish pop group Abba said it best: Money, money, money/Always sunny/In the rich man’s world.

But with ECOT in seeming eclipse, perhaps things right now aren’t sunny in that rich man’s charter world. Indeed, the upcoming solar eclipse might in some way serve as a metaphor for the twilight of ECOT, and, hopefully, the mysterious, gloomy, overcast charterworld, where for nearly 20 years, anything goes.

Could it be that the corruption in the charter industry in Ohio has reached a tipping point?

Has ECOT finally gone too far?

This is a very positive development, if true.

from novemoore http://ift.tt/2vPExlV


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