Jimmy Carter invented public schools. No, really. He did.

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.

And the rewrite, 1851:

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.

64 replies
  1. 1
    The Moar You Know says:

    I wrote about for-profit elementary and high schools in Ohio here. This is a follow-up.

    I highly suggest that everyone go back and read her original posting. The money quote:

    “Provides that once taxpayer money is given to a charter school operator, it is no longer considered public money and anything the operator buys with it becomes the operator’s property.”

    The legislation is truly amazing; a direct transfer of assets from taxpayers to private individuals with no government oversight whatsoever. If you did this in the DoD, it would be called “fraud” and would net anyone involved some serious jail time.

    Apparently in Ohio, it’s called “good educational practices” and serves as a springboard to higher office.

    I would suggest that everyone involved in the drafting of this legislation may as well be sent to jail now. They’re obviously guilty of theft on a grand scale and are just trying to make it legal.

  2. 2
    RobertB says:

    The Dispatch is a fucking horrible paper, so shills on the op-ed page are no real surprise.

  3. 3
    Kay says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    a direct transfer of assets from taxpayers to private individuals with no government oversight whatsoever. If you did this in the DoD, it would be called “fraud” and would net anyone involved some serious jail time.

    It’s DOA in the upper chamber. Too much press attention. I’m not going to forget they tried to slide it past, though, and no one else should either.

  4. 4
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    To paraphrase Ben Franklin: “A Republic public school system, if you can keep it”.

  5. 5
    Kay says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    I think it was the ProPublica piece that did it in. Kasich couldn’t run fast enough once that came out.

  6. 6
    RobertB says:

    I thought I read something to the effect that those provisions regarding private school oversight and assets were being stripped out. Even Kasich was speaking out against it, and, shockingly enough, nobody could find out who had inserted those particular provisions.

    Edit: Kay beat me to it. But she’s absolutely right.

  7. 7
    artem1s says:

    @RobertB:

    The Dispatch Dogpatch is a fucking horrible paper,

    fixt that for ya

  8. 8
    Freddie deBoer says:

    Well said. It has to be constantly repeated: most types of education “reform” include within them provisions that eliminate accountability, so that after you enact them, there’s no way for the public to know that they don’t work. It’s pretty shameless and quite a neat trick.

  9. 9
    bkny says:

    i am still staggered by santorum’s recent comment re public education:

    And campaigning in New Hampshire, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, who’s homeschooled his seven kids, wasn’t subtle about his disdain for the American institution.

    …Santorum took a swipe at public schools. “Just call them what they are. Public schools? That’s a nice way of putting it. These are government-run schools,” he said.

    Santorum added that the Head Start program is a Democratic conspiracy to bring “more children out of the household” in order to brainwash and “socialize” them.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....028466.php

  10. 10
    kay says:

    @RobertB:

    Kasich didn’t “speak out” about it until it was in every newspaper in the state, and two national newspapers.

  11. 11
    Napoleon says:

    @Kay:

    Do you have a link?

  12. 12
    Bulworth says:

    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.

    Are there no workhouses?

  13. 13
    Napoleon says:

    @Napoleon:

    Duh, never mind.

  14. 14
    kay says:

    @bkny:
    He’s wrong about this country. He’s lying. 35 states have explicit provisions for public education in their founding documents, including his own state.

  15. 15

    @kay: He’s wrong about this country. He’s lying. 35 states have explicit provisions for public education in their founding documents, including his own state.
    You could have just stopped there.

  16. 16
    kay says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    They’re such inane ninnies. “Government schools”. The second oldest public university in Ohio came about as a result of an explicit, specific federal grant. There’s a deed and everything.

  17. 17
    Bulworth says:

    He’s wrong about this country. He’s lying. 35 states have explicit provisions for public education in their founding documents, including his own state.

    So, in other words, Santorum perfectly represents the type of conservative who’s so anxious to go back to some era of “Constitutional” pureness he’s completely ignorant of what the country’s or states’ founding documents actually say.

  18. 18
    Josie says:

    About ten years ago, when my brother was fighting the good fight for public schools in Washington state, he told me that the whole agenda of the conservatives was to cripple and finally eliminate public schools. At the time, I accused him of being a conspiracy believer. Sadly, I now have to conclude that he was correct.

  19. 19
    alwhite says:

    Public schools. What a radical idea.

    Damn straight! Look, what don’t you get about this? If your parents happen to be poor or live in a poor district it simply must be all their fault or Gawd’s judgement. You just don’t deserve a good education. Thus it is written, thus is it done.

  20. 20
    Maude says:

    @kay:
    Christie, NJ, was at yet another town hall meeting yapping about the teachers and the unions. I think someone taps a button on the back of his head and he just repeats everything he has said forever. His negative numbers are up by 9%.

  21. 21
    CatHairEverywhere says:

    I gasped when I read the middle paragraphs, because my friend briefly worked for a charter school in northern California, after being laid off from her public school job. The principal is Turkish, and the majority of the teachers are Turkish. She quit at the semester because the labor violations were unbearable. No oversight, of course.I thought it was so odd that the teachers were all Turkish immigrants, (why Turkey?) and I am surprised to see that it seems to be a much larger operation. I am not anti-Muslim in any way, I just wonder why there is such a push for Turkish-run charter schools? My friend said there are tons of charter school jobs available there, including one for John Adams something school that appears to be run by Mormons, with an emphasis on Glenn Beck’s teachings. I am appalled that my tax money is going to support this.

  22. 22
    alwhite says:

    @bkny:

    Santorum added that the Head Start program is a Democratic conspiracy to bring “more children out of the household” in order to brainwash and “socialize” them.

    And you just know that frothy little man thinks “socializing” children is something evil that only soshalists do. He needs remedial vocabulary work.

  23. 23
    kay says:

    @Maude:

    It’s funny, because Kasich has backed off teachers. Most of the teachers here vote GOP. It’s a conservative district.

    He announced teacher appreciation day, immediately after stripping them of collective bargaining rights.

    I think this whole “governing” thing bores the hell out of him, and he’d like to go back to FOX.

  24. 24
    kay says:

    @CatHairEverywhere:

    Including one for John Adams something school that appears to be run by Mormons, with an emphasis on Glenn Beck’s teachings.

    My, my. The Glenn Beck Elementary School. You can’t believe it, right? But it’s true!

  25. 25
    Stillwater says:

    It’s pretty shameless and quite a neat trick.

    As per usual with the Greedy Obfuscators Party.

  26. 26
    Cacti says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    “Provides that once taxpayer money is given to a charter school operator, it is no longer considered public money and anything the operator buys with it becomes the operator’s property.”

    At least they’re dropping the pretense about it being “for the children”.

  27. 27
    El Cid says:

    Of course you could always do everything you could to make public schools worse and worse for the majority, outside high property value areas (except any place which doesn’t fund them that way).

    And then hope that if you can manage to make them hated enough, the privatized / vouchered / chartered way seems just fine as a better alternative.

    Oh wait…

  28. 28
    David Brooks (not that one) is a dickhead. says:

    Just remember, people, this is the party of Original Intent. So, once they remember what is in their own constitution they will back right off.

  29. 29
    thalarctos says:

    1851? 1803? Johhnies-come-lately!

    A school or schools shall be established in each town, by the legislature, for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters, paid by each town, making proper use of school lands in each town, thereby to enable them to instruct youth at low prices. One grammar school in each county, and one university in this State, ought to be established by direction of the General Assembly.

    Constitution of the Vermont Republic, 1777.

    It is therefore ordered that every township in this jurisdiction, after the Lord hath increased them to fifty households shall forthwith appoint one within their town to teach all such children as shall resort to him to write and read, whose wages shall be paid either by the parents or masters of such children, or by the inhabitants in general, by way of supply, as the major part of those that order the prudentials of the town shall appoint; provided those that send their children be not oppressed by paying much more than they can have them taught for in other towns.

    Massachusetts School Law of 1647.

  30. 30
    ET says:

    I wonder if future historians writing about the decline of American will point to the idea (and practice) of monetizing pretty much everything.

  31. 31
    kay says:

    @thalarctos:

    Thanks so much. “Forthwith”. We should bring that word back.

  32. 32
    Chrisd says:

    @artem1s:

    The Dispatch Dogpatch is a fucking horrible paper,
    fixt that for ya

    Back in my OSU days, it was always the Disbelch.

  33. 33
    ET says:

    @RobertB: op-eds in every paper suck. I have long thought that getting rid of op-ed pages is an idea whose time has come. They have to be a pure cost to to paper with no profit involved (I won’t say benefit because benefit is free and we all know papers are all about profit nowadays).

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne says:

    @bkny:

    Rick Santorum, who’s homeschooled his seven kids using taxpayer money

    Just thought I would remind everyone of that. Santorum didn’t just homeschool his kids, he demanded money from the state of Pennsylvania to do it.

  35. 35
    Cacti says:

    @thalarctos:

    North Carolina Constitution of 1776

    “a School or Schools shall be established by the Legislature for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the Masters paid by the public.”

    Georgia Constitution of 1777

    “Schools shall be erected in each county and supported at the general expense of the state.”

  36. 36
    NonyNony says:

    @kay:

    I think this whole “governing” thing bores the hell out of him, and he’d like to go back to FOX.

    Works with my theory that he intends to be a one-term governor, do as much damage as he possibly can in that term (he’d call it “advance the conservative agenda” rather than “damage”, but that just comes down to word choice these days) and then hoof it back to New York or DC.

    The man clearly hates the state of Ohio – his voice just drips with contempt whenever he gets off his prepared remarks or gets taken by surprise. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hates governing too.

    At least Bob Taft honestly seemed to like the state. Kasich just hates us all. But I’d bet that makes it easier for him to “advance the conservative agenda” here – if you don’t have to care much about the consequences of your policies you can do whatever the fuck you want.

  37. 37
    NonyNony says:

    @Chrisd:

    Back in my OSU days, it was always the Disbelch.

    Huh. It’s always been “The Columbus Disgrace” since I’ve lived in Columbus.

    That or “Lying Sacks of Shit”. But only a few of my friends call it that.

  38. 38
    dj spellchecka says:

    but governor foxman k still luvs those charter schools…he’s hosting a public event with cheater michell rhee than includes a showing/discussion of “waiting for superman” soon [possibly this evening]

  39. 39
    kay says:

    @NonyNony:

    Kasich just hates us all.

    I have a friend here who is a liberal but is married to a conservative. Her husband is on the board of a local company. He was invited to a “roundtable” with Kasich, and Kasich wouldn’t shut up. My friend’s husband walked out, because no one else got a chance to talk. That was not his understanding of “a roundtable” :)
    I think that so perfectly aligns with how I see him. Blah, blah, me, mine, I.

  40. 40
    Jewish Steel says:

    Remember: this is about the children. Currently, many children are spending up to 8 hours a day in a non-profit environment.

    Is our children earning?

  41. 41
    Zam says:

    Well fuck my state

  42. 42
    El Cid says:

    Since the above open thread is about animal rescue, and the prior one not too different, this is very important. [NYT via DKos.]

    In the first comprehensive state report on the 2010 coal mine disaster in West Virginia, an independent team of investigators put the blame squarely on the owner of the mine, Massey Energy, concluding that it had “made life difficult” for miners who tried to address safety and built “a culture in which wrongdoing became acceptable.”
    __
    [The report went on by] naming Massey as the culprit, using blunt language to describe what it said was a pattern of negligence that ultimately led to the deaths of 29 miners on April 5, 2010, in what was the worst American mining disaster in 40 years.
    __
    “The story of Upper Big Branch is a cautionary tale of hubris,” the report concluded. “A company that was a towering presence in the Appalachian coalfields operated its mines in a profoundly reckless manner, and 29 coal miners paid with their lives for the corporate risk-taking.”

    They better not do anything about it, because it may be seen as unfriendly to the coal mining industry, and this would mean they hate jobs.

  43. 43
    Cacti says:

    @kay:

    He’s wrong about this country. He’s lying. 35 states have explicit provisions for public education in their founding documents, including his own state.

    Hell, the first public school in his home state was founded in 1700 by none other than William Penn himself.

    Betsy Ross was an alumn.

  44. 44
    kay says:

    @El Cid:

    I’d put it up El Cid, but I have to go to work now, where I risk, ya know, a paper cut.

    I’m so glad there was an investigation.

  45. 45

    Shocked, I am – Wait, no I’m not.

  46. 46
    Nemesis says:

    If gaining employment as a legislator were anything like job interviews in the private sector, how could gop’ers get a job?

    Employer: “What do you bring to our company?”
    gop’er: “A deep seeded hate for your company.”

    Employer: “I see. Can you tell me where you see yourself in say five years?”
    gop’er: “I see myself working hard every single day to demolish this company, its effectiveness and its reputation. This company represents everything I hate about America.”

  47. 47
    Chrisd says:

    @NonyNony: Yes, come to think of it, I have heard it as the Disgrace, too. That, and the Wolfe Family Newsletter.

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Cid:

    That’s probably why Blankenship got the hell out — he’s hoping to avoid criminal charges.

  49. 49
    NonyNony says:

    @Chrisd:

    and the Wolfe Family Newsletter.

    Oh yeah – that one too. That’s a Golden Oldie there.

    I actually haven’t heard that one recently. The folks who generally called it that are the ones who have in the last decade or so taken to calling it “Lying Sacks of Shit” when they talk about it…

  50. 50
    El Cid says:

    @kay: Maybe you could mention or forward it to the other FP’s: I mean, JC lives in WV.

  51. 51
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    “Provides that once taxpayer money is children are given to a charter school operator, it is they are no longer considered public money citizens and anything the operator buys with it forces them to make becomes the operator’s property.”

    The next round.

  52. 52

    @Josie:

    About ten years ago, when my brother was fighting the good fight for public schools in Washington state, he told me that the whole agenda of the conservatives was to cripple and finally eliminate public schools. At the time, I accused him of being a conspiracy believer.

    I’ve been making this argument to anyone who will listen for five years. Everyone thinks I’m crazy. I don’t understand how they can fail to see what is going on.

  53. 53
    Chrisd says:

    @NonyNony:

    The folks who generally called it that are the ones who have in the last decade or so taken to calling it “Lying Sacks of Shit” when they talk about it…

    That new epithet–I like it. Very urban.

    I really need to check out this new Columbus.

  54. 54
    Ken says:

    @bkny: Well, since Santorum (the politician, not the other stuff)appears to know more about torture and its effects more than McCain, I’m not surprised that he is an education expert. Also.

  55. 55
    Ken says:

    @alwhite: Well, Ron Paul thinks that people who get hammered by floods, tornadoes, etc are stupid; so they are consistent.

  56. 56
    RobertB says:

    @Kay – I’m just shocked that the Republicans at the Statehouse found a line they wouldn’t cross.

  57. 57
    SFAW says:

    I’ve been making this argument to anyone who will listen for five years. Everyone thinks I’m crazy. I don’t understand how they can fail to see what is going on.

    Yeah, me too. (Well, they don’t think I’m crazy, just an asshole. Whoda thunk?)

    The Rethugs know that “low-information” (a/k/a stupid) voters are their best friends at the ballot box, so destroying public ed keeps the supply chain of morons uninterrupted.

    h/t Cyril M. Something-or-other

  58. 58
    kay says:

    @El Cid:

    I am back, because I’m an idiot. My hearing is at 2 and not one. Luckily, it’s across the street.

    So I’ll put it up.

  59. 59
    JCT says:

    @Mnemosyne: This is one of my favorite Santorum moves. He is truly a dishonest asshole.

    The slapdown from the McCain aides over his truly inane and insulting torture comments was epic.

    He is as dumb as a box of hair.

  60. 60
    Suffern ACE says:

    @kay: Well, that’s better than showing up at 2 for a hearing that is at 1.

  61. 61
    artem1s says:

    @NonyNony:

    The Dogpatch was always a vile POS. But it got noticeably worse when the Citizens Journal went under in the 70s. After that they didn’t even have to pretend to do journalism. It’s pretty much been the OSU sports page with a couple of op eds ever since.

  62. 62
    TenguPhule says:

    -Glances to the side

    Halleuah!

    Sully is finally where he belongs, in Mockery Hall of Shame!

  63. 63
    artem1s says:

    @James E. Powell:

    It seems to me that the anti-education thing grew out of the Vietnam war student protests. keeping kids dumb kept them out of college and narrowed their life options to McDonald’s or the Military. As an added bonus they wouldn’t be getting shot during protests on campus which were caused by egghead professors with tenure, dontchaknow.

    St. Ronnie was big on restructuring the student loan programs so that kids wouldn’t waste the loan money on anything other than tuition. My last year of graduate school was also the last year the bank would send your loan check directly to the student. I srsly don’t know how I would have gotten through school if I hadn’t had any seed money to buy books, supplies, put down payments on rent, utilities, etc.

    The whole systems has been forever fucked over because by the GOP. vouchers and White Hat are their wet dream version of indoctrination programs geared to keep brown and poor people in poorly funded rural and urban centers. If they really cared about choice they would have made it easier for the poor to move into rich, white suburbs. But then white flight would have been pointless. Ultimately they want separate and unequal.

  64. 64
    CatHairEverywhere says:

    @kay: and it’s paid for with my taxpayer money. I sent this post to my friend who taught at the Turkish charter school, and she said it was under the Magnolia Foundation, which was then under this Gullen group. Researching that brings up some pretty interesting stuff. I don’t want my taxpayer dollars going to these unregulated schools.

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