Posts by: William Phillis

A hearing officer ruled against ECOT last week, however this political powerhouse has brawny allies in all branches of state government

ECOT appealed the results of the recent enrollment/student participation audit by the Ohio Department of Education to the State Board of Education. The State Board appointed a hearing officer to hear the audit matter. On May 10, the hearing officer ruled against ECOT. The matter will be decided by the State Board in June. If ECOT loses, it may appeal the State Board’s decision in court. Don’t count them out.

ECOT is everywhere. Rally at the Statehouse. Lobbyists […]

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Last week’s ECOT rally backfired, but some state officials are still rallying behind this political campaign funding-driven machine. The May 16 Dispatch editorial seems to imply that the ECOT rally was not impressive. ECOT is marketing, lobbying and litigating to gain approval to lock in revenue streams for students even if they don’t participate-the equivalent of funding empty classrooms. Now that the ECOT scam has been exposed to the public, the political grip of the ECOT Man may be loosening. But don’t count ECOT out. It only takes one legislator to insert an ECOT-friendly amendment into a […]

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Last week, former Congressman Dennis Kucinich conducted a Statehouse news conference and four town hall meetings in Ohio regarding the realities of the charter school industry.

Steve Farber has posted videos from two of the events. You can watch them below.

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A cleverly-worded amendment that would benefit some charters magically appeared in the State Budget bill. No one seems to claim ownership-not me, not me, they say. However, Representative Teresa Fedor was suspicious. Even ECOT didn’t claim it.

Fortunately, Senator Peggy Lehner is quoted in The Dispatch as saying she has begun to draft an amendment to remove this provision.

“If it indeed does create some kind of staggering loophole, I think we need to deal with it,” said Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, said Wednesday, adding she already was drafting an amendment to strip it out of the bill.

 

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Dr. Sarah Stitzlein, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati has written an important article about “building support for public education on the heels of Betsy DeVos.”

Dr. Stitzlein, in her commentary, “We are not consumers, but citizens when it comes to schools”, pleads for citizens to support and sustain the public common school as the key institution for preparing citizens for democracy.

“We need good public schools now more than ever to help us solve our problems, especially in light of our politically divided country,” Stitzlein concludes. “Let’s build on the momentum we witnessed in response to DeVos to improve […]

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Jennifer Berkshire recently wrote about the Betsy DeVos visit to Van Wert, Ohio.  Perfect timing to celebrate Ohio’s failed charter school week.

Berkshire’s perspective on the Betsy DeVos visit can be summed up by a quote made by Elida Treasurer Joel Parker while he and Board member Brenda Stocker were talking to her:

Parker, a Trump supporter, likens the growth of Ohio’s virtual schools, with their moneyed bosses and political flunkies, to the takeover of the garbage collection industry by organized crime in the ‘50’s. *The mob got into the business because it was easy, they could control it, […]

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Jeanne Melvin, President of Public Education Partners (PEP) has developed a graphic that can be used to show school district patrons how a portion of their school levy funds flow to charters. Some state officials have argued that no local funds are involved in chartering. They may be aware that the use of revenue from local levies is restricted to the operation of the school district; hence, they fabricated the following argument:

· Districts must use their local revenue first for their district students
· Districts must use their state funds first for charter students
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According to a recent article by Diane Ravitch, the Walton Family Foundation spent $179 million on charter school activities in 2015 and they “are in the midst of a pledge to spend $1 billion to open more charters.”

The Walton Family foundation and other pro-charter foundations are spending billions in the campaign to charterize the traditional public system. Ravitch shared a list of organizations that Walton is helping to bankroll that includes Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst Institute ($2.8 Million) and Teach For America ($8 Million) as well as School Choice Ohio ($35K), the shady Ohio-based, anti-public school organization.

While […]

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According to Dr. Sarah Stitzlein, Associate Professor of Education, University of Cincinnati, school voucher programs place individual interest over the common good.  The conclusion of Dr. Stitzlein’s Cincinnati Enquirer OpEd article is that SB 85 (the almost-universal voucher bill pending in the Senate Education Committee) is the wrong choice for Ohio.

Expanding school choice via free market ideology, a system that has served our country well in other areas, is appealing. But, it should only be used in the context of education when research and evidence demonstrate its usefulness for real children, schools, and communities. The reality is […]

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The Washington Post published an excellent brief recitation of the history of the “Blaine Amendment” by Diane Ravitch.

Public school personnel and all other citizens will benefit by reading this insightful article.

Church and state must be kept separate for the benefit of both church and state. Recent decisions by all three branches of government have blurred the line of separation in recent decades. That does not bode well for democracy.

Each, the church and civil government, have unique separate roles to play in our society. Intermingling of those roles will compromise both the church and state to the […]

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Before Ohio expands funding for charter school facilities, state officials should seriously investigate the California charter facilities disaster.

A group called In The Public Interest (ITPI) engaged Dr. Gordon Lafer, associate professor at the University of Oregon, to research the flaws of the California charter facilities policy. An April 2017 report of Lafer’s findings reveals that hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent each year without any meaningful strategy. Funds are thrown to charters with no statewide plan or local plans for efficient and effective use of the funds. Charter facilities are being built in locations where school […]

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