I wrote about for-profit elementary and high schools in Ohio here. This is a follow-up.
First, Gail Collins:
This exciting new plan, which seemed to have been inserted into the state budget bill by a magical invisible hand, would also reduce oversight. It got a rave review in The Columbus Dispatch from an op-ed contributor named Thomas Needles, who cheered legislators for trying to end the “drip-drop of wrongheaded regulation” of charter schools. Needles is a consultant for White Hat Management, the largest company currently managing charter schools in Ohio. The owner of White Hat is a gynormous donor to the state Republican Party. Not that that would make any difference. Just saying.
Remember: this is about the children. Currently, many children are spending up to 8 hours a day in a non-profit environment.
This is a lost opportunity. It’s vitally important that children generate profits for someone, from birth, because that’s the way that the world goes ‘round.
Second, former Fox News personality Ohio Governor John Kasich is running away from the whole corruption/ for-profit school issue, so we can assume it’s politically damaging for conservatives.
Third, I don’t even know what to think about this latest development.
An exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation revealed a federal probe into Ohio charter schools involving a money trail of illegal immigration fees, as well as other payments to individuals living overseas.
Concept Schools operate 16 Horizon Science Science Academies across Ohio. The program was founded in Cleveland by Turkish educators in 1999 and now includes schools in Ohio and four other states.”Our schools are public charter schools. They’re not Turkish schools, they’re not Islamic schools. They provide a high quality education,” said Salim Ucan, Vice President of Concept School
Auditors found immigration fees and legal fees for school officials’ families and others living in Turkey. In some cases, auditors found payments were made to individuals who were never employed by any of the schools.Auditors found 19 Turkish immigrants were paid nearly $13,000 for what they called “illegal immigration fees.” A Horizon Science Academy school in Dayton signed a lease agreement that sends $600,000 over five years to the property’s owner living in Turkey.
Huge conundrum for conservatives. Their xenophobic immigration stance, coupled with their bigotry toward a certain religion, up against the mad rush to union-bust and turn public schools into religious entities and/or profit centers. I don’t know how that inner battle shakes out. No telling.
Finally, this is an excerpt from the original Ohio Constitution:
That no law shall be passed to prevent the poor in the several counties and townships, within this State, from an equal participation in the schools, academies, colleges and universities within this State, which are endowed, in whole or in part, from the revenue arising from donations made by the United States, for the support of schools, academies and universities, shall be open for the reception of scholars and students and teachers, of every grade, without any distinction or preference whatever, contrary to the intent for which said donations were made.
The general Assembly shall make such provisions by taxation, or otherwise, as with the income arising from the school trust fund, will secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the State, but no religious or other sect or sects shall ever have any exclusive right to, or control of, any part of the school funds of this State.
Public schools. What a radical idea.