Former State Superintendent Dick Ross left a legacy of school choice efforts. He served on Governor Voinovich’s Parent Choice Commission that set in motion the Cleveland Voucher Program. He was an early advocate for the charter school movement while serving as a city school superintendent. He seemed to do the bidding of the Voinovich and Kasich administrations regarding choice efforts.

While serving as state superintendent, it was reported by a staffer that one of his directives stated that if any Department employee has a problem with charters, they have a problem with the state superintendent.

On November 20 the State Auditor issued an extensive audit report that reveals Superintendent Ross’ attempt to cover up mischief in his charter school office. A November 21 Columbus Dispatch article and November 26 editorial provide details.

The Dispatch article claims: “Auditor Dave Yost’s office used a special audit to dig into the claim that David Hansen, the department’s school-choice director, improperly manipulated charter-school sponsor evaluations to improve Ohio’s chances at the federal money.

The review found a multitude of issues at a department that Yost years ago called one of the worst run in state government. The 1,577-page audit, including transcripts and other material, said current and former department employees had “inconsistent recollections of past events,” so the auditor could not determine if the errors “were the result of malicious intent or a lack of effective internal controls.”

Hansen, the husband of Beth Hansen, Gov. John Kasich’s chief of staff, said he told then-state Superintendent Dick Ross on two occasions of his plans, prior to them becoming public in the summer of 2015. Most agreed Hansen’s move violated state law.”

The same state superintendent, at the behest of Governor Kasich, along with a half-dozen unelected people in the Mahoning Valley, cobbled together the 131st General Assembly’s infamous HB 70 (Youngstown Plan) totally out of public view. The Plan was presented to the legislature and became law within a 24-hour period with no public input.

 

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