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What does a judge’s ruling about a constitutional amendment in Florida have in common with television commercials aired recently about online schools in Ohio?

Answer: it’s not what’s stated in the proposed amendment and the TV promotional that’s important. Instead, it’s about what’s not disclosed in each.

The question then is why was an important word left out of both? Where Groucho Marx rewarded contestants for uttering “the magic word” on his TV show, we should recognize readers for being the first to figure out what key or magic word is being left out of commercials for some Ohio online […]

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Fast and furious. When people see that phrase, they often identify it with the name of a film released several years ago. But today, fast and furious also describes the behavior of Republican politicians as they flee as swiftly as they can from the spreading radioactive mushroom cloud generated from the implosion of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, the notorious online charter school.

As damaging as the charter school’s implosion was on the viability of Republican pols, the corresponding explosion ECOT’s demise is causing in state political circles continues to reverberate, particularly for four GOP ECOT stalwarts named […]

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It finally seems that ECOT is dead. Today the Ohio Supreme Court ruled 4-2 against ECOT’s appeal and sided with the state. This upheld lower court rulings and determined the state acted lawfully when it ordered ECOT to repay millions for unverified enrollment. However, the matter of collecting ill-gotten money from the ECOT Man and his two companies is still pending.

The decision came with Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, Justices Patrick Fischer and Mary DeGenaro and appellate judge W. Scott Gwin, sitting in for recused Justice Judith French, forming the majority.

Fischer explained in the majority opinion that the Ohio […]

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The white flash mob that turned out for Herr Trumpf’s rally in Tampa with vulgarities and fist-waving threats to the media was in brutal contrast to a friendlier moment the day before as superstar LeBron James hosted the opening of his Foundation’s grade school in Akron.

In Florida the cheers went out for a president, having now downed his quart of Muscle Milk and executed his defiant game face with tight lip-synced push- button grins, rose in the grandeur of his chilling opera.

In James’  hometown of Akron, where he entered the real world without the benefit of a $1 […]

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The Ohio Attorney General’s response to the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow’s (ECOT) June 27, 2018, Memorandum Regarding Assignment of Claims could open a can of worms for the charter industry.

In his “response“, claims that public money can be recovered from the ECOT scheme in three ways:

William Lager, the operator of ECOT, had a fiduciary duty to ECOT and thus violated that duty by doing business with the two companies he created. Therefore, all the profits realized via those companies’ dealings with ECOT should be recovered. Lager’s status as ECOT’s agent made him a […]

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Stipends were paid to students and parents from ECOT to travel to certain venues, such as testing sites and graduation. Probably no law was broken, so what is the big deal?

The big deal is that the law permits gross misuse of tax dollars in the charter industry. To name a few:

Laundered dollars for campaign contributions Tens of millions of dollars for TV ads and other media buys Carnival-type events to attract students Stipends for students who recruit other students Hundreds of millions of dollars flowing to out-of-state charter management companies The list goes on and on

The article states:

[…]

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This week we learned the ECOT ripoff cost taxpayers at least $200 million, while Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine did nothing but cash their campaign checks. Local Ohio school officials are not happy.

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Using the current law, charter management companies are allowed to select the charter school board of education.How preposterous! House Bill 707 should address this charter industry flaw.

Under Ohio law, a charter management company can set up a charter school, shop for a sponsor and select the board for the charter. Not hard to find a sponsor. Sponsors, like St. Aloysius Orphanage and Buckeye Community Hope Foundation, tap into charter industry revenue streams. This ludicrous policy attracts individuals and groups allured by lucre.

A reader recently wrote about the dangers of charters school, saying, “The most important item that needs […]

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Bob Applebaum, Maple Heights School District Treasurer, spoke about the experience of Maple Heights with ECOT students at a June 6 Statehouse news conference conducted by Innovation Ohio. He is not quoted in a June 7 Columbus Dispatch article that covered the news conference, but his message is critically important.

Applebaum started his statement by saying: “…There is a big difference between a for-profit business and the business of educating students K-12.  Anyone who says “you should run a public school district like a business” is out of touch with reality. And anyone who says a “privately run for-profit […]

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A May 27 Columbus Dispatch Capitol Insider article poses the question, “Who gets credit for reining in ECOT?” It seems the Attorney General wants credit.

The article quoted Joshua Eck, DeWine’s gubernatorial campaign spokesman, who said: “Mike DeWine is the only elected official who has made real progress in this case.” Eck went on to say “Everything that has been done about ECOT has been done through the attorney general’s representation.”

Yeah, right.

Now that disgraced ECOT is politically toxic, various politicians want to the credit for its demise. The State Auditor has filed a motion to intervene in the Lake Erie West lawsuit which […]

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Today, something unpredictable happened in a House committee: a pro-public education amendment nearly passed.

The House Education committee was scheduled to consider amendments and vote on an education deregulation bill (SB216). That didn’t happen, however, after committee Democrats put forward an amendment that would have prohibited the state from taking over local school districts that score too low on state tests. Under House Bill 70, Youngstown and Lorain local schools have been placed under the control of appointed CEOs with a wide range of latitude to cancel labor contracts, privatize and restructure district operations.

Today’s amendment was offered by Rep […]

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