State Rep Andy Brenner seems to love charter schools. In January he introduced a resolution to create a “School Choice Week” in January to “honor the hardworking educators, staff and parents of students for their roles in providing a quality public charter school education within Ohio.”
Andy and his wife, Powell City Councilman and Conservative Blogger Sarah Marie, have no children attending Ohio’s schools, but Andy does represent one of the most affluent and high-performing school districts in the state, Olentangy Local Schools.
Earlier this week Greg reported that low-performing online charter schools and charter schools in neighboring school districts siphon off over $1.1 Million dollars in funds from Olentangy schools. For each student attending Olentangy, the state provides the district around $400. But for each student who leaves for a charter, Olentangy is required to pay that charter school an average of $10,000 per student! And the district must pay to bus the child to the charter school, even though none of the charters are located within the district or even within Delaware County.
Most importantly, each and every one of the charter schools that pulls students from Olentangy performs worse than district, with the lot of them averaging a GPA of 1.085 (D) vs Olentangy’s 3.667 (A).
So Ohio’s charter school system allows some of the worst performing schools in the state to poach students from Brenner’s district, stealing over a million dollars each year from one of the best performing school districts in the state.
And what’s the best way to honor that system? With a new license plate, of course!
According to a co-sponsor letter sent out by Brenner, he will soon be introducing a bill to require the state to issue School Choice license plates. “The public charter school system and school choice has had an enormous effect on the educational impact for students who are disadvantaged,” writes Brenner. “These license plates will continue to provide awareness for educational options as well as the students and families that seek an alternative to a failing school system.”
Proceeds from the plates will go to a group named School Choice Ohio. According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, the group first registered to do business in Ohio in 2007 as a foreign nonprofit from the state of Delaware. The original registration form (here) lists Republican Lawyer Bill Todd as the Assistant Vice President. Todd ran for mayor of Columbus in 2007 and received nearly a quarter of his funding from infamous charter school operator David Brennan of White Hat Management. Todd later defended Brennan for illegal campaign contributions Brennan and his wife made to Ohio Republicans.
Another interesting fact about School Choice Ohio: the group registered at 1209 North Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware, an address made famous in a NYT article that revealed nearly 300,000 businesses used the same address, including some owned by Jack Abramoff, drug and arms smugglers, and tax cheats from the around the world.
In 2012, the group’s statutory agent in Ohio resigned and they had their Ohio registration revoked. It was later reinstated under a new agent by Board Chairman John Mullaney, who also chairs the Nord Family Foundation.
Anyway… back to Andy’s plates.
We found the idea of honoring Ohio’s ineffective, money-wasting, horribly-performing failure of a charter school system with a license plate so completely ridiculous, that the only appropriate response was a Photoshop challenge!
We’ll kick it off with a couple suggestions we will be sending to Mr. Brenner once the bill is actually introduced. But we highly encourage you to make your own. You can download a blank plate template here. Email yours to me directly ( joseph at Plunderbund.com) and we’ll post them for the world to enjoy, and send them on to Mr. Brenner for consideration.
Here’s a few to get the creative juices flowing…