Posts by: William Phillis

A new bill (HB 87) from Republican Rep. Kristina Roegner would require funds recovered from charter schools be returned to school districts: a really good proposal, but Ohio’s track record of collecting misspent charter money is less than 10 percent. Charter funds are deducted from school districts and thus misspent by charters should be returned to the source. That is a no-brainer! But Ohio has been conspicuously unsuccessful in collecting misused funds from charters. HB 87 should be amended to require state officials to aggressively pursue misspent funds and hold charter school sponsors responsible for repaying the […]

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According to the Sunbury News:

A Columbus woman who took $88,750 earmarked to start a charter school in Powell was sentenced to three years in prison recently by Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Everett H. Krueger.

If a charter school operator is sent to prison for taking funds earmarked for start-up school, why aren’t some of the big time thieves in the charter school industry punished?

Taxpayers pay for charter students that are not participating in education. Charter operators form companies to provide high cost rental space for the charter schools they operate. All kinds of nefarious deals […]

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The Governor stirred up a hornet’s nest when he proposed that teachers be required to serve an externship in a business as a part of the license renewal process. One response was the introduction of HB 129 to require the Governor to serve 40 hours in school districts each of the next two school years.

This externship wrangle moved Athens Messenger’s Sarah Guinn to visit Athens High School for a day. The March 20 Messenger coverage of Guinn’s visit is enlightening.
School officials may wish to invite journalists to spend a day, possibly a week, at one or more […]

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A March 20 Bloomberg News story reveals that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made a decision regarding student loans that will financially benefit one of her well-heeled friends. This decision will likely set a pattern for her secretariat.

Americans who default on some of their federal student loans are likely to pay more after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos reversed an Obama administration directive limiting some fees. But it turns out the Trump administration decision has some beneficiaries—including the father of a key DeVos lieutenant who just quit.

It is abhorrent that the DeVos-style reformers often accuse traditional public school personnel, including administrators and unions, of protecting […]

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Jeanne Melvin, President of Public Education Partners (PEP), has compressed information about the graduation crisis into one page.  The bottom line of her 12 point synthesis is that the legislature must act to reduce the number of high stakes testing. Because of new graduation requirements created by the Ohio General Assembly, “one third of Ohio’s Class of 2018 is now at risk of not receiving a high school diploma” and “the percentage of non-graduates could reach 60-70 percent in urban areas.” State officials must consult with public school personnel-not ALEC, not DC, not Gates, Walton, Eli Broad […]

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Andrew Brenner, as you may recall in a social media message last year, dubbed public education as socialism and suggested the system be privatized. Below is a Legislative Service Commission description of his universal voucher bill – HB 102. To replace locally levied school district property taxes with a statewide property tax and require recipients of certain tax exemptions to reimburse the state for such levy revenue lost due to those exemptions; to increase the state sales and use tax rates and allocate additional revenue to state education purposes; to repeal school district income taxes; to require the Treasurer […]

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The federal and state voucher trains are picking up steam in spite of dismal results from vouchers.

Education choice enthusiasts originally spewed the rhetoric that vouchers would allow poor children to have the same opportunities for a private education as rich kids. Now choicers want money to follow every child (i.e.) a universal voucher system.

At the federal level, HR 610 has been introduced to require states to adopt vouchers in order to maintain eligibility for federal funds.

Although Ohio has a half-dozen separate voucher programs, Senator Matt Huffman is proposing a voucher program that is essentially universal. Huffman’s proposal […]

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Here is you opportunity to be heard on the state’s draft plan for ESSA.

The notice regarding hearings scheduled by the Joint Education Oversight Committee is below. If you can’t appear in person, you may wish to email written testimony.

Don’t let this opportunity slip by you!

NOTICE: The Joint Education Oversight Committee will be hearing testimony regarding Ohio’s State Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act. JEOC will hold two meetings on Thursday, March 2,2017 at 2:30 PM and Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 1:30 PM in the Senate South Hearing Room. If you are interested in testifying please contact […]

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Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education with a tie-breaking vote by the Vice-President. Opposition to her confirmation was intense and protracted because she has no public school experience and has contributed heavily to advance her anti-public school agenda.

Now she is echoing that tired, old rhetoric that her opponents are merely those who are against “new ideas.”

Of course, her “new ideas” are any and all alternatives to the public common school.

Often public school personnel and advocates will not speak out in opposition to nefarious “reforms” from the nation’s Capital and groups such as the American […]

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In a recent Dispatch article, Governor Kasich “defended his proposed school funding formula that would result in cuts for more than half of Ohio’s school districts” by complaining that many school districts “have not looked to improve how they operate, from merging with other districts to partnering in purchasing.”

In fact, many school districts have reduced programs and services to cope with state-imposed loss of tangible personal property revenue (TPP), state cuts in reimbursement for loss of TPP, flat state funding for several years and loss of funds flowing to charters and vouchers.

With very, very few exceptions, merging […]

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The February 11, 2017 Policy Matters Ohio research report, by Zack Schiller, pinpoints why multitudes of school district students are deprived of a high quality education.

State officials in Ohio seem more comfortable tolerating the school-to-prison and school-to-welfare pipelines than biting the bullet to appropriately fund a constitutional system of common schools. All the political rhetoric about career and college readiness is noisome twaddle without the provision of adequate resources directed to all school districts.

Policy Matters asked the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy to analyze Kasich’s latest tax proposal. This is what they found:

• The middle fifth […]

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