Posts by: William Phillis

The PAC that Billionaire Betsy DeVos chaired and helped fund owes Ohio $5.3 million in fines for illegal actions while promoting charter schools in Ohio.  Laundering money in her zeal to charterize Ohio was the issue. This matter was recently aired on the U.S. House floor, but the fine will not likely be paid. Although the DeVos confirmation vote has been delayed twice, she will probably be confirmed. Despite the outstanding fines, Ohio Governor John Kasich wrote a glowing letter of recommendation about DeVos to Lamar Alexander, chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, […]

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The office of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education should be occupied by an experienced, highly professional educator that is a recognized leader – one who commands the respect, admiration and approval of those laboring at all levels of education policy and practice. Jan Resseger’s review of the confirmation hearing confirms that DeVos has no experience in public education or in-depth understanding of education. The Senators in the hearing should have been “distressed by her evident lack of knowledge and experience and her ideological bent,” wrote Resseger.

The school choice thumpers now have one of their own in […]

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The Governor, during a January 12 speech to the Columbus Partnership, announced a provision in the state budget proposal to add three non-voting, non-elected business persons to each board of education. Why three? Why any?

This solution-looking-for-a-problem approach is yet another signal that some politicians don’t trust citizens to elect the “right” individuals to manage educational programming in school districts. Appointed state board of education members and the “Youngstown” Plan (amendment to HB 70 of the 131st General Assembly) are other examples of lack of confidence in citizens. Of course, the citizens that elect the board members also elect governors […]

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Diane Ravitch was invited to introduce Betsy DeVos to the readers of In These Times.

Her view of Betsy DeVos as the nominee for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education: “Billionaire Betsy DeVos will be great for private, religious and charter schools—and bad news for students and teachers.”

 There is little doubt but that Ms. DeVos will be confirmed; hence, why raise the issue of her lack of qualifications and desirability for the position? Simply because the American people have a right to know her background and the potential damage she can do to public […]

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How will Betsy DeVos respond to the fact that her defunct All Children Matter organization owes Ohio a $5.3 million fine?

The Ohio Elections Commission found that the federal and Ohio All Children Matter PACs violated Ohio campaign laws. The Commission levied fines of $5.3 million and the court upheld the fines. Former House member Steve Dyer provides a narrative of the origin and chronology of this money laundering matter.

The All Children Matter organization was disbanded and the fines were never paid.

Violation of Ohio election laws have landed some Ohio public officials before judges in the Ohio […]

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According to the AP, the Federal Trade Commission sued the for-profit DeVry University alleging false advertising. DeVry is settling the suit by agreeing to pay $100 million.

DeVry claimed in ads that 90% of its graduates who sought employment got jobs in their field within six months of graduation. False claim!

Some charter schools make claims about their programs that don’t match reality. Just wondering… Should the Federal Trade Commission investigate the marketing practices of the Ohio charter industry?


William L. Phillis, Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding

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Jason Crye, in a December 2, 2016 Fordham publication, described Betsy DeVos as “a wily and battle-tested reformer, someone with clear goals who knows how to fight and make reform happen.” His conclusion seems to be: reformers should support DeVos because she is one of us.

DeVos has a record of intense interest in education but all of her advocacy has been directed to replace the public common school with charters and vouchers. Reform to the “reformers”, including DeVos, means to destroy the public common schools.

“Reformers” have bastardized the word reform. Reform means to improve by alteration, correction […]

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“We are not unmindful of the difficulties facing the state, but those difficulties do not trump the Constitution.” DeRolph v. State 97 Ohio St. 3d, December 11, 2002

House Bill (HB) 628, introduced December 13, 2016 by State Rep. Andrew Brenner, would take school funding in a radical different direction. It is not the solution to the court decisions in the DeRolph school funding case. Before legislators, school district officials and the general public become engrossed in the pieces and parts of this 779-page bill, they should:

Contemplate the significance, implications and the binding requirements of Article VI, §2 of […]

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Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Jenifer French issued a final appealable order that allows the Ohio Department of Education to proceed with the student participation audit of ECOT. This ruling paves the way for ECOT to appeal. The ECOT spokesman is confident that ECOT will win on appeal.

ECOT will most likely, at taxpayers’ expense, pursue every legal and legislative recourse to stay in business without being held accountable for student participation.

There is a strong possibility that ECOT will survive and thrive at the end of the process. This charter behemoth spends enormous sums of money on marketing, […]

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A December 12 New York Times research article indicates the positive relationship between higher funding levels and outcomes.

During the DeRolph school funding litigation era, the state defendants often attempted to convince the court that money doesn’t make a difference in educational outcomes and opportunities. For the record, the Court didn’t buy that argument.In the real world, whether in public education or any other enterprise, of course money makes a difference. But, state defendants in school funding cases across the nation hired school finance “experts” to support the myth that the level of funding is not […]

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The OAPCS will be out of business at the end of this year. This organization has been an influential advocacy agent for Ohio’s publicly-funded, privately-operated charter industry. Some of the reasons for its demise are identified in a December 14 Columbus Dispatch article.

The dismal reputation of Ohio’s charter industry may be the reason funders have withdrawn their support of OAPCS. It is ironic the federal government has awarded a $71 million grant to expand the failed charter industry in Ohio.

The newly anticipated federal emphasis on expanding the failed charter industry will no doubt generate another […]

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