Yesterday we predicted Kasich’s introduction of a pro-charter school funding plan this week. We thought you’d like to know why.
In the past two decades Ohio’s Republicans have moved billions of dollars out of public education and into the pockets of for-profit charter school operators even though many consistently fail Ohio’s children and offer Ohioans lower graduation rates, millions in unpaid fees, corruption and financial scandals.
We expect the trend to continue as long as large, for-profit charter school operators like Whitehat’s David Brennen continue to give hundreds of thousands of dollars to Ohio Republicans.
In 2009 and 2010, Brennen and his wife maxed out donations to Kasich, giving him over $45,580 during his run for Governor.
In the 2011/12 election cycle, the Brennens gave $166,500 to Republicans which included big payouts to the two men who control the Ohio General Assembly: $20K to House Speaker Batchelder and another $20K to Senate President Faber.
Of Brennen’s 27 schools: 9 received a C grade, 11 a D and 7 received an F. Final GPA: 1.07.
Bill Lager, founder of ridiculously large online charter school ECOT, received nearly $59 Million dollars from the state in 2010 alone. And it’s only cost him $1,128,864 in political contributions since 2004, including $225,341 to Republican committees and smaller amounts to Democratic committees and office holders.
The bulk of his contributions go to Republican office holders and, like Brennan, Lager has provided massive funding for Republican legislative leaders: $26,500 to Former Senate President Niehaus, $45,000 to Speaker of the House Batchelder and $21,481 to current Senate President Faber.
Kasich spoke at ECOT’s graduation ceremony last year despite the long list of failures on the part of the school. Just to cover a few, ECOT:
- Has had consistently flat or declining test scores for a nine year period
- Has graduation rates of below 35% over that entire time (consistently 20 points lower than Cleveland Schools’ scores)
- Has attendance rates that are consistently below the state average
- Has student achievement scores that are significantly below state averages
- Received 36% more in per pupil funding than the state average
- Is run by an unlicensed superintendent and unlicensed assistant superintendent who are each being paid over $100,000 per year (above statewide averages)
- Pays teachers an average salary of $34,450, well below the state average of $55,812.
Ohio’s for-profit charter schools aren’t just failing our children, they are also pulling much needed funding away from traditional public schools. And early information about Kasich’s funding plan indicates this situation is only going to get worse.