Bryan Williams should resign from the State Board of Education.
As the lobbyist for a conflicting private entity, he should end all doubts about his commitment to public education.
As the Beacon Journal so clearly reported Williams’ true allegiance is to his better paying employer, the non-union Central Ohio Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., which, among other things, runs the Ohio Construction Academy in Columbus and on-line. It has 24 students. Unlike others in the field it gets $200,000 in state money for vocational training.
As the BJ reported, the money is sapped from the Columbus public school district’s slice of state funds and sent to a charter school.
“Records show,” the paper’s Doug Livingston wrote, “that he [Williams] has advocated this year for favorable laws, funding and regulation advantageous to his organization at the time he also sits in an elected position on the board, which enacts regulations governing career programs and charter schools.”
As we have long witnessed, charter schools, thanks to the financial wizardry of Akron businessman David Brennan, have become huge private cash pyramids with the considerable aid of taxpayer millions down at the Republican-controlled Statehouse.
Williams – the State Education Board member – is said to have lobbied in behalf of his private employer for HB 168 that would deal with state money that could be flowed into private apprenticeship programs. He also is involved with other committees where his influence could favor his client.
A conservative Republican, Williams has been a strong ally of Summit County GOP Chairman Alex Arshinkoff, who once recruited him for a failed candidacy against Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic.
As you might expect, Williams dismissed criticism from N. Vic Goodman, the Columbus lawyer representing the unionized Ohio State Building & Construction Trades Council, which pays for apprenticeship – $50 million in fees and dues from workers in 2012.
“First of all,” Williams told the paper, “his criticisms are asinine. They are just typical union territorialism. ”
As in dual-role non-union territorialism? Not good enough Mr. Williams.
Prove that you and your conscience are big enough.
(Reposted from Grumpy Abe)