The state has been trying to shut down Harmony Community School for months now because of its horrible record at educating students as well as “gross financial mismanagement”.

It turns out the financial mismanagement is even worse than originally thought.

Not only does the school owe the state $2.6 million, it also owes over $150K in federal grant money.

And worst of all: the school’s director, Deland McCullough, used $6,500 in STATE MONEY to build a new deck on his own home!

On top of all of this- think how much money it’s costing the AG’s office and the Auditor’s office.

We need to fix our charter school system now- immediately shutting down poorly performing schools and removing any for-profit school operation in the state.

 
  • Matt N.

    There should be for-profit and non-profit schools, which would allow for the most variety and customization to fit what parents and students needs.

    And shutting down failing schools? Great! Let’s start with the 188 government schools under “academic emergency.”: http://ilrc.ode.state.oh.us/Downloads%5C2007%5C0607_LRC_building.xls

  • J-Dog

    Alright, fine. Shut down the public schools that are “under academic emergency.” Then what?

    It’s all well and good to say that while you sit at a computer in an urban area where there are many choices. However, where are you going to send the students from rural areas whose districts are under academic emergency? I’d bet that Larry Householder’s home district might fall into that category, or the school district at issue in the DeRolph cases (if they aren’t the same). I’d further bet that for-profit, corporate education will be in no hurry to “invest” in those poor communities. If there is no alternative there, do we need to bus kids 45 miles to the next school? What’s their remedy?

    Now, lest you think I’m picking on you, Matt, rest assured I’m not. I would, however, like to know how it would work in a place like Perry County.

    I can hear you saying, “you can’t solve a problem by throwing money at it…” However, what problem have we ever really solved by cutting out funding either?

  • Matt N.

    Give parents the option to use a voucher at a fixed amount, while allowing schools to charge less than the voucher or more than the voucher for tuition. Public schools wouldn’t have to shut down, but they would only continue to exist if they could attract enough students.

    I know plenty of teachers motivated by altruism. And that’s wonderful! But outside of altruism, there is no incentive for schools to provide a better product for less money.

    For leftists who call anyone to the right of Bill Clinton a “fascist”, I can’t imagine anything more inherently anti-fascist than school choice.

    DeRolph cases were an act of judicial activism. It’s entirely a question for the legislature, and Justice Moyer basically admitted that.

  • I’ve had this debate with Matt before- and I’m sure we aren’t going to start agreeing on it now.

    The problem is: I think education is a basic function of government- like public safety- and Matt doesn’t.

    And, as such, I think the government should work toward providing the same, high-quality education for all students.

    The idea that schools should compete for students is just as silly as suggesting that police or fire departments should compete for the people they serve.

    And the idea that we should give public money to for-profit schools is just as silly as suggesting that we give public money to private police and fire departments for every “customer” they can sign up.

    Education is the foundation of our society. It is not cable service.

  • J-Dog

    I can’t agree that DeRolph was a case of judicial activism…because nothing ended up happening. The Ohio S.Ct. should have held someone in contempt for failing and refusing to follow its orders.

    Joseph is right…education is a basic human right, not a privilege.

  • And like I said before- I’m not even against all charter schools. I’m against a charter school system that allows shit like this to happen.

    Ohio rushed into this experiment with charter schools – at the urging of big, for-profit charter school operators like Brennan – and we need to take a step back and rethink it.

  • But, J-Dog, we are throwing money at the problem. Millions and millions of dollars.

    Unfortunately, we’re throwing it at people like Deland McCullough – who uses it to build a deck on his house.

    But even if he hasn’t abused the system like that, McCullough still isn’t qualified to be a school principal. He doesn’t appear to have any real management or teaching experience.

    He’s a former Cinci Bengals football player.

  • J-Dog

    That’s not throwing money at a problem, Joseph. Rather, that’s enabling a crook to embezzle.

  • Matt N.

    “Joseph is right…education is a basic human right, not a privilege.”

    I love how you lefties support all of these positive rights, where Peter must pay for Paul, because it’s Paul’s right to have a service provided free of charge. We could play this game all day: After all, isn’t it a human right for everyone to have a tailored suit, a car with under 40,000 miles on it, and a two car garage?

    Education is incredibly important. In fact, I think it’s so important that it disturbs me that parents are so quick to turn their children over to the state bureaucracy. And not to mention what they are learning (or actually, what they AREN’T learning) once they are there!

  • J-Dog

    “After all, isn’t it a human right for everyone to have a tailored suit, a car with under 40,000 miles on it, and a two car garage?”

    No, I don’t believe that, Matt, and never have. I don’t believe everyone has to have the same goodies, but I do believe there is a compelling governmental and societal interest in making sure that people have an equal opportunity to get a decent education. I don’t believe that government is perfect, but I don’t believe the private sector is either. And, it is painfully obvious that the private sector is sucking wind ex rel. charter schools.

    “Education is incredibly important.”

    I trust that you actually believe that, Matt. However, I’m having a tough time figuring out why you don’t believe that everyone ought to have an equal shot at it. [And, before you waste any time getting your Speedos in a twist…No, I’m not demanding that dirt farmers get to send their kids to the finest private schools, either.]

    There HAS to be common ground somewhere on this issue.

  • No one is saying kids deserve a car- though a bus ride to school would be nice.

    We’re talking about kids here.

    More importantly, we’re talking about future adults.

    A good education is THE BEST investment society can make to ensure that these kids don’t end up out of work or in jail- both of which cost taxpayers much more than the $6K/year it cost to educate a kid.

  • By the way- what is it that kids AREN’T learning in public schools, Matt?

    That the world was created 6 thousand years ago? That dinosaurs and man walked the earth at the same time? That gay people are evil?

  • Matt N.

    No, I’m not a Baptist, but nice try there.

    They are too focused with cucumbers on condoms, and not focused enough on Math, Science and Math. In a global market place, customizable education options for each student is ideal- Even though I’m sure that scares you, as success means that they may not be dependent Democrats for their entire lives.

  • sra

    @Matt, how would this work for the lower class? I mean, a 1500$ discount on a 2000$ tuition doesn’t mean much if your budget is maxed out providing food and shelter.

    I always wonder when people suggest that the gov’t shouldn’t take care of healthcare or education, what their solution would be for the poor. Do they just not get the ‘privilege’ of adequate care and education?

  • matty banned me from reading his blog. yay.

  • Matt N.

    SRA, Good question! Typically the amount of money would be tied to the parents based on federal poverty guidelines. But ideally, different prices and price discrimination (which is defined as charging different prices to different groups of consumers for what is the same good or service- a good example of this is airline tickets) must be allowed to allow for maximum competition and incentive for schools to run efficiently.
    —–
    And Tim, you posted multiple dirty links on my site.

  • @15: over/under on how many of the dirty links matt watched in their entirety?

  • Bring on the dirty links!

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