Back in 2009, when Arne Duncan announced the Race to the Top competition, he said we as a nation would literally be “racing to the top” of international competition by adopting his favored ideas: expanding charter schools, evaluating teachers to a significant degree by the test scores of their students, “turning around” low-scoring schools by radical measures such as closing them, creating state and national data storehouses to track students, and adopting “college and career-ready standards” (aka, the Common Core). Almost every state fell in line, because they had to do what Arne wanted in order to be eligible for a share of $4.35 billion.

 

But the report cards have not been kind to these “reforms.” When the National Assessment of Education Progress issued its regular report in 2015, test scores were flat or declining in most states.

 

Now the latest international test scores are out, and the U.S. has made no gains. We are not racing to the top. We are standing still. Why? Because Race to the Top did not address the root causes of academic failure: poverty and racial segregation. Charter schools have produced marginal gains at best, with some far worse than public schools. Evaluating teachers by test scores has been an abject failure, criticized by the nation’s leading scholarly organizations, including the American Statistical Association, which is not an arm of reformer-dreaded teachers’ unions or the “status quo.”

 

Here is today’s report from politico.com:

 

PISA RESULTS: BAD NEWS IN MATH: American 15-year-olds are getting worse at applying their math skills in the real world, when compared to their international peers. The 2015 Program for International Student Assessment results are out and they show a drop in “mathematics literacy” scores for U.S. students since 2012 and 2009. “Of particular concern is that we also have a higher percentage of students who score in the lowest performance levels … and a lower percentage of top math performers” compared to the international average, said Peggy Carr, acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which released the results. The disappointing numbers come after results on another international study – the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study – recently showed gains made by U.S. fourth and eighth graders in math since 1995.

 

– U.S. science and reading literacy scores weren’t much different from previous years. Boys outperformed girls in science and math, while girls outperformed boys in reading. Scores for Massachusetts, North Carolina and Puerto Rico were broken out for international benchmarking purposes, and revealed that Massachusetts students, on average, are outperforming students in the U.S. and worldwide in all three subjects. North Carolina students were comparable with U.S. average scores and Puerto Rican students fared worse. PISA measures the performance of 15-year-olds every three years in three subjects across dozens of education systems worldwide. Check out the results here .

 

– Education Secretary John B. King Jr. is in Massachusetts today to hail the state’s success with PISA – while noting that the nation as a whole is “losing ground.” According to prepared remarks, King will say that it’s “a troubling prospect when, in today’s knowledge-based economy, the best jobs can go anywhere in the world. Students in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Minnesota aren’t just vying for great jobs along with their neighbors or across state lines, they must be competitive with peers in Finland, Germany, and Japan.” King will say that Massachusetts embodies the importance of perseverance. “The PISA results announced today for Massachusetts didn’t happen instantly or by accident,” he’ll say. “It has taken years of people showing courage – principals, teachers, parents, students, and state and district leaders. It has taken years of overcoming challenges. It has taken years to make real and meaningful change happen. And it will take time to see the work we are continuing to do today truly pay off for students.” More on King’s visit.

 

– Other noteworthy highlights: U.S. students value a career in science and have high expectations of having a science career, but they’re falling short when it comes to skills. Countries like Finland, Germany, Switzerland and Japan are also seeing better student outcomes than the U.S., while investing fewer hours in actual teaching – giving teachers more time for professional development and advancing their careers.

 

As I have often written before, the international test scores do not predict the future of our economy or anything else. Scores on standardized tests measure family income and income inequality. If you want to know more, read my chapter in “Reign of Error” on international tests and what they mean and do not mea.

Molly Hunter of the Education Law Center sent me its news release on the ruling in Nevada that the state cannot take funding dedicated to public schools and use it for “education savings accounts” (ESA), a thinly disguised voucher.

 

A Nevada judge enjoined the implementation of the voucher program last January.

 

In the 2016 election, Democrats in Nevada gained control of both houses of the legislature. They do not need to repeal the ESA legislation, although they could. All they need to kill the vouchers is to not allocate any funding to ESAs. The state courts made clear that the funding could not be taken away from the public schools, a policy embedded in the state constitution.

 

 

From the Education Law Center:

 

September 29, 2016

 

Education Law Center welcomes the Nevada Supreme Court decision in Lopez v. Schwartz firmly declaring the state’s Education Savings Account (ESA) voucher program unconstitutional and permanently blocking its implementation.

 

The Court’s ruling makes clear that the Nevada Legislature violated a constitutional prohibition against the use of public education funding for any purpose other than the operation of the public schools. The ESA voucher program would have diverted funds from the public schools for private education expenditures.

 

This decision strikes at the heart of the ESA voucher program, which was designed to remove significant amounts of funding from public school budgets to pay for private school tuition and other expenses, even for the wealthy. The court’s sweeping ruling permanently blocks the program from being implemented in the future.

 

“The Court confirmed that the parent plaintiffs’ claims were correct – the state constitution expressly directs that funds appropriated by the Legislature for public education be used for that purpose and that purpose alone,” said David G. Sciarra, ELC Executive Director, and, along with ELC attorney Jessica Levin, a member of the pro bono legal team representing Nevada parents and children in the voucher lawsuit.

 

ELC is a partner in Educate Nevada Now (ENN), a Nevada campaign in support of public education founded by the Rogers Foundation. ENN and the Rogers Foundation provided crucial support in the voucher lawsuit. With implementation of the voucher program now blocked, ELC will continue to work with ENN and the Rogers Foundation to improve the educational experiences of the half million children in Nevada’s public schools.

 

Here is a brief chronology of the case, Lopez v. Schwartz, also from the ELC:

 

On September 9, 2015, a group of parents whose children attend Nevada public schools filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s new voucher law. The lawsuit, Lopez v. Schwartz, has generated media attention and interest from parents, educators and taxpayers.

 

In June 2015, the Nevada Legislature passed Senate Bill 302 (SB302) establishing a controversial program to use public funding to pay for private schooling. For students who qualify, the voucher law directs the State Treasurer to deposit taxpayer funding into private bank accounts – called “Education Savings Accounts” (ESAs) – to pay for private school tuition, tutoring, online classes, home-schooling expenses, transportation to and from private schools, and other private services.

 

ESAs are funded by diverting the per pupil funds provided by the Legislature for Nevada public schools. The ESA amount is based on the statewide average per pupil amount guaranteed in the state budget to operate the public schools. The vouchers are either 90% or 100% of that amount, or between approximately $5,100 and $5,710. For each ESA, the State Treasurer deducts the per pupil amount from public school district budgets, which then reduces the funding available to educate public school students.

 

Nevada parents sued because ESAs will take critically needed funding away from public schools and lower the quality of education for their children. ESAs will also reduce public school funding, causing cuts to teachers, support staff and other vital programs for the 450,000 Nevada children attending public schools across the state, many of whom are children with disabilities, English language learners (ELL), and students at-risk of falling behind or dropping out.

 

The Nevada Constitution prohibits taxpayer funds provided by the Legislature for the operation of the public schools from being used for any other purpose. The parents claim that the voucher program violates this constitutional ban by diverting the funding necessary to educate their children in the public schools to pay for private school vouchers.

 

The parents also claim that the voucher law violates the Nevada constitution by lowering the amount of funding provided in the Nevada state budget for public education and by using public funds to pay for private schools that are not required to serve all students, are not subject to anti-discrimination laws, and are not accountable for student performance like the public schools are.

 

In January 2016, the parents won their motion for a preliminary injunction in the trial court, which halted implementation of the voucher program. State Treasurer Dan Schwartz appealed the trial court decision to the Supreme Court of Nevada, which heard oral arguments in July 2016. On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that the ESA voucher program is unconstitutional because it violates the prohibition on use of public school funds for other purposes, and permanently blocked its implementation.

 

 

 

 

Steve Mnuchin, the Goldman Sachs partner that Trump has chosen as his Secretary of the Treasury, is a very, very lucky man. ProPublica reports that he made a killing during the mortgage meltdown, among many other lucky breaks.

 

Jesse Eisinger writes:

 

The former Goldman Sachs banker nominated to become Donald Trump’s treasury secretary had the perspicacity to purchase a collapsed subprime mortgage lender soon after the financial crisis, getting a sweet deal from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Now, if he’s confirmed, he will likely be able to take advantage of a tax perk given to government officials.

 

Mnuchin was born into a family of Wall Street royalty. His father was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs for 30 years, serving in top management. He and his brother landed at the powerful firm, too. After making millions in mortgage trading, Mnuchin struck out on his own, creating a hedge fund and building a record of smart and well-timed investment moves.

 

He dodged disaster when he inherited his mother’s portfolio. She was a longtime investor with Bernie Madoff, the largest Ponzi schemer in American history. After she died in early 2005, Mnuchin and his brother quickly liquidated her investments, making $3.2 million. The Madoff trustee, Irving Picard, sued to retrieve the money from the Mnuchins, as he did from other Ponzi scheme winners, contending that they were fake gains. A court ruled that Picard could only claw back money from those who had cashed out within two years before the collapse. The Mnuchins, having pulled out roughly three years before, got to keep their Madoff money. That something was dodgy about Madoff was an open secret on Wall Street.

 

After the financial crisis, the FDIC seized IndyMac, whose irresponsible mortgage loans failed as the housing bubble burst. Desperate to offload the bank, the FDIC subsidized the takeover by sheltering Mnuchin and his team of investors, including hedge fund managers John Paulson and George Soros, from losses. The investors injected $1.55 billion into the bank in 2009. They changed the name to OneWest and five years later, sold it to lender CIT for more than $3 billion, doubling their investment.

 

There is more, much more about Mnuchin’s good luck. If you lost your mortgage and your home when the bubble burst, you were a loser. But Mnuchin was a winner.

 

Some people have all the luck.

 

Trump has put the fox in charge of guarding the hen house.

 

 

In this post, Mitchell Robinson lays out the strategy of Betsy and Dick DeVos in Michigan, which they have since exported to other states in their well-funded campaign to destroy public education and substitute for it a marketplace of for-profit charters and publicly-funded religious schools.

 

Robinson, a professor of music education at Michigan State, writes:

 

 

“As Michiganders know, Betsy and Dick DeVos are religious and school privatization/choice/voucher zealots. They were humiliated by the twin failures of voucher legislation in 2000 and Dick’s loss in the Michigan governor’s race to Jennifer Granholm in 2006, and these dual humiliations resulted in the development of the DeVos’ “long-game” strategy to achieve their goals of privatizing public education:

 

*destroy the Democrats’ biggest single source of financial support by gutting teacher unions via Right to Work legislation
*capitalize on the elimination of the charter school “cap” to explode the number of non-regulated and for-profit charter schools in the state
*use charter schools as the mechanism to “blur the lines” between public and private/religious schools
use this “blurring” of boundaries between church and state to build public support for the redistribution of public funds to religious and private schools”

 

In the timeline that Robinson created, he includes the infamous secret video of Dick DeVos speaking at the Heritage Foundation in 2002.

 

He writes:

 

“One of my first encounters with the DeVos ideology of education was stumbling upon this video of a speech that Amway heir Dick DeVos (husband of Betsy, brother-in-law of Blackwater private mercenary army founder Eric Prince, Betsy’s brother), gave on December 3, 2002, at the Heritage Foundation (which is funded generously by the DeVos family foundations). The gist of this speech was Mr. DeVos’ argument that school privatization was an issue that was deeply divisive, and not at all popular with the public; so in order to get vouchers and privatization through the legislature a “stealth approach” was necessary: “We need to be cautious about talking too much about these activities.”

 

At least we know where she stands. She is not neutral among the different sectors of K-12 education. She doesn’t like public schools. She wants unregulated competition among charters and religious schools, all funded by taxpayers.

 

A few years back, I visited Michigan and spoke to a group of district superintendents who collectively represented about half the students in the state. They described Michigan’s public school choice program, which obliterated district lines. Students could go to any public school, taking their dollars with them. Every district competed with every other district to lure students because total revenues rose or fell based on enrollments. Each district spent about $100,000 a year on radio and TV advertising, trying to “poach” students from neighboring districts. No one liked this approach. No one thought it was educationally sound. It was a colossal waste of money. Add to this the competition with charters, most of which operate for profit, and you have a state school system focused on dollars as the bottom line, not students or education.

 

 

 

Jennifer Berkshire (aka EduShyster) is a funny, affable, charming person who often visits reformer gatherings, to learn more, get to understand the reformer ideas, and engage reformers face to face. Not in a hostile way, but as an interested observer who listens and learns.

 

In this remarkable post, she explains what Betsy DeVos wants. She first encountered Betsy DeVos at a Republican candidates’ parley in the summer of 2015. The candidates spoke, each outlining their bipartisan views on school choice, and DeVos spoke, and Berkshire wondered:

 

Could the education reform coalition’s major selling point, its bipartisan-ness, really stretch to incorporate the extreme right-wing views of DeVos?”

 

Some reformers are less than thrilled with DeVos, says Berkshire, especially because of her personal role in torpedoing efforts to bring some order and accountability to the charters in Detroit. Other reformers did not appreciate the “outsized role she has played in shaping Detroit as an, um, education laboratory in which an out-of-control lab fire now burns.” Detroit is hardly an advertisement for educational reform via school choice.

 

For a brief moment in time, there was a genuinely broad-based coalition that wanted to save Detroit. It formed in 2014, and it seemed to be heading towards a hopeful conclusion. But the effort collapsed in the summer of 2016:

 

The feel-good story screeched to a halt last summer thanks to a wall of GOP opposition. Except that *wall* and *opposition* make it sound as though there were a whole bunch of people involved in the kneecapping that went down. There was a single family: Betsy and Dick DeVos. The bill that ultimately passed, with the DeVos’ blessing and with the aid of the lawmakers they bankroll, did virtually nothing to regulate Detroit’s *wild west* charter school sector, and will likely hasten the demise of the Detroit Public Schools. While Michigan’s burgeoning charter lobby was well represented in the final negotiations, elected representatives from Detroit were missing; in a clear violation of House rules, they weren’t even allowed to speak on the bill. And in a final twist of the shiv, the legislation that emerged lets uncertified teachers teach in Detroit, something not allowed anywhere else in Michigan. Oh, and don’t forget the new punishments for teachers who engage in *sick outs* to call attention to the appalling conditions in the city’s schools.

 

There is a queasy, racialized undertone to much of the education reform debate, with its constant implication that students of color fare best in schools over which their communities have little say. In Michigan, though, that argument has been taken by reform advocates, Betsy DeVos chief among them, to its extreme conclusion. The official message of DeVos’ organization, the Great Lakes Education Project, during last summer’s legislative battle was that dissolving the Detroit Public Schools would *protect kids and empower parents,* a cause that came with its own hashtag: #EndDPS. But what GLEP really meant was hard to miss. Detroit is a tax-hoovering abyss whose residents are too corrupt and incompetent to oversee their own schools.

 

After the GOP took control of Michigan in 2010, the charter cap was lifted, then eliminated. The state, once home to the nation’s industrial unions, became a right-to-work state. The legislature passed a law allowing “emergency managers” to take control of financially stressed districts, with unlimited powers. Voters passed a refendum eliminating the emergency managers, but the legislature revived it in a budget bill.

 

Guess whose districts and and schools were taken over by emergency managers and turned over to charter operators?

 

You’ve heard about Detroit, and Flint, with its poisoned water, but there are other less well known cases—like Benton Harbor, Muskegon, and Highland Park, which at last count was down to a single public school. Within a few years of Public Act IV’s enactment, half of Michigan’s Black population was living under some form of emergency management. *The municipalities and school districts that have been taken over are predominantly African American and poor,* David Arsen, an economist at Michigan State University, told me when I interviewed him last summer. *The optics are not good, especially in the context of the long civil rights struggle for voting rights.*

 

Berkshire realized that the real danger of the Trump era is that he is “moldable clay,” amenable to the plans of others.

 

The terrifying thing about the dawning of the Trumpian era isn’t just the specific awfulness of the President-elect’s policies. It’s that Trump is what the long gamers think of as *moldable clay,* receptive to whatever plots and plans they’ve spent years dreaming and scheming up. In Michigan, the long game has long been about making over the state’s schools: breaking up the government monopoly over education and getting rid of that pesky prohibition that keeps public monies from following kids to private schools, especially private schools of the religious variety. When Detroit-based writer Allie Gross set out this summer to document the long history of the efforts of the DeVos family and its allies to remake Detroit’s schools, she dug up an archival piece that a reporter at her paper, the Metro Times, wrote in 1995. Gross’ predecessor described a *relentless attack* on Michigan’s public education system, and a *Trojan horse* meant to blur the distinction between public and private schools en route to realizing the real goal: public funding for parochial schools.

 

Betsy DeVos is playing the long game, and she knows what she wants. What others want is irrelevant.

 

 

 

 

Here is a great article in The New Republic by staff writer Graham Vyse, asking the crucial question, “Can Democrats Save Public Education from Trump and DeVos?” It acknowledges that the Democrats paved the way for the school choice agenda of the far-right by touting privately managed charter schools for the past eight years.

 

So the question now is whether Democrats will really fight for public education or will they continue the pretense that privately managed charter schools are “public?” Will they continue to endorse charters and oppose vouchers? Can you be half-pregnant?

 

As the Democrats aped the Republicans on key social issues, like education, they lost their unique identity. Now there are only 14 states with Democratic governors. If they keep pretending to be Republicans, there will be even fewer.

 

Andrew Cuomo of New York has used the same language as Trump, referring to community public schools as a “government monopoly,” and he endorsed legislation to compel the city of New York to give free space to charters, even those that are able to pay rent, like Eva Moskowitz’s fabulously wealthy charter chain. Dannell Molloy has been a champion for charter schools in Connecticut and gives them preference over public schools. Jerry Brown in California opened two charter schools when he was mayor of Oakland, and he recently vetoed legislation to ban for-profit charter schools.

 

Will they fight the privatization agenda, now that it is the Trump agenda?

Jeff Bryant has written a stunning documentation of the damage done by the charter industry to public schools in North Carolina. It is worth your time to read it all. It is a preview of what lies ahead for public education in the Trump era, unless parents and educators and public-spirited citizens join to save their public schools. It is not a pretty picture.

 

The Tea Party Republicans in the legislature and Governor Pat McCrory in the state house set a course to undermine, underfund, and starve public schools while opening the state to charter schools, whether nonprofit or for-profit. Jeff Bryant shows how funding for the public schools is below 2008 levels, even though enrollment has grown by nearly 80,000. Public schools have had to make budget cuts, at the same time that charter schools and online charter schools take away students and funding. In North Carolina, as in many states, if a student leaves a charter school after October to return to the public school, the charter school gets to keep the full year of tuition and is not obliged to replace the student who left.

 

The board that oversees charter schools and decides which new charters to approve is filled with charter school advocates. As Donald Trump used to say, “It’s a rigged system, folks, it’s a rigged system.”

 

Bryant explains in detail how the for-profit charter management companies make money. He uses the example of National Heritage Academies, which is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the hometown of Donald Trump’s designated Secretary of Education. Half their teachers may be uncertified, which means they have lower salary costs. But the real money is in the real estate.

 

Bryant writes:

 

How do these schools make a profit? The best answer the reporter for the Charlotte Observer could find was in management fees for the EMOs [educational management organizations], which In North Carolina equal to 7 – 19 percent of total school operational costs.

 

But based on my inquiries, that figure represents a very small part of the profit these schools make.

 

Out Of Michigan And Florida

 

“North Carolina is one those states that is new to the charter game,” Ellen Lipton tells me in a phone call to her office in Michigan – home of National Heritage Academies. NHA is based in Grand Rapids, where Betsy DeVos also lives.

 

“The low per-student funding that tends to characterize Southern states generally kept charter school operators from moving into those states,” she contends. “But now states like Michigan are getting saturated” so the charter chains have decided to move south.

Lipton is a Michigan State Representative who has spoken out against the spread of charter schools through the state’s Education Achievement Authority, an appointed agency, similar to the Achievement School District North Carolina created last year, that takes over low-performing schools and turns them over to charter operators.

 

According to Lipton, NHA has “fine-tuned” the business of chartering to ensure they make a profit. She points me to a recent investigative report by the Detroit Free Press that finds, “It is difficult to know how charter management companies are spending money … Unlike traditional school districts, the management companies usually don’t disclose their vendors, contracts, and competitive bid documents.”

 

“NHA is a business model based on, not necessarily educating kids, but on being a facilities management company,” Casandra Ulbrich, another Michigan source, tells me.

 

Ulbrich is currently serving her second eight-year term on the Michigan State Board of Education and also works in education administration at a state community college.

 

She tells me how the NHA business model works: First, NHA forms a charter school board to “invite” NHA to manage a new school. The governing board is not independent of the management company, and members of the board can serve on multiple NHA charter boards across the state, thus creating a network of charter school boosters the work on promoting these schools.

 

After securing a contract to manage the new school, NHA purchases a building – it could be a storefront in a strip mall or an abandoned warehouse – and requests approval from an authorizer to open a school there. After the authorization, the charter board signs a lease agreement with Charter Development Company, LLC to take over ownership of the building. Charter Development Company, which has branches in all the states where NHA has schools, has its home office in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the same address as the home office of NHA.

 

Now NHA and its related enterprises own the building and its contents, even if desks, computers, and equipment have been purchased with taxpayer money. It receives rent payments from the district. It owns the curriculum the school teaches. And if NHA is ever fired, the charter board – and by extension the district – is in the awkward position of having to buy back its own school.

 

 

Ten years ago, ASCD published a book that I compiled about education jargon and buzzwords. It is called EdSpeak. 

 

Recently, I became aware that Nancy Bailey, a teacher-blogger, was collecting jargon and buzzwords, and I started thinking that EdSpeak needs to be updated. It predated Race to the Top and many new fads and innovations of the past decade.

 

I wrote on a post that I would love to help Nancy’s help in revising the book, and she responded offering to be co-editor.

 

ASCD has given us the go-ahead to revise the book with new buzzwords, jargon, phrases, and terminology that have grown up in the past decade.

 

Last time, when I compiled the glossary of education language and terminology, I spent months scouring EdWeek and other publications to pick up on the latest words.

 

This time, I am asking you to send me your favorite buzzwords, terminology, and jargon. Just send them here as a comment, and Nancy and I will add them to our collection.

 

Thank  you for your help. This will be the first time I have ever crowd sourced a book, but I can’t think of a better way to gather all the current and latest language of our field.

 

Here is an example of a possible new entry:

 

“Reformer”: someone who wants to close local public schools and replace them with privately managed charter schools. Also known as a corporate education reformer. 

 

 

After a hard-fought election that produced a narrow margin of victory, State Attorney General Roy Cooper was elected the next Governor of North Carolina. Pat McCrory, current governor and Tea Party hero, conceded defeat.

 

Education was the leading issue for Roy Cooper. He railed against the actions of McCrory and the legislature, and he was elected even as the state voted for Trump. Maybe that’s a lesson for Democratic candidates in other states. Supporting public schools is wise and politically powerful.

 

This is what Governor-elect Cooper says on his website:

 

We need to make education a priority. Governor McCrory has prioritized huge tax giveaways to big corporations and those at the top while he cut teaching assistants and failed to provide the resources our children need and to pay our teachers what they deserve.

 

We have to give more pay and respect to teachers, and to treat them as the professionals they are. Among the top priorities are increasing teacher pay, reversing cuts to textbooks and school buses, and stopping teacher assistant lay-offs.

 

Teachers will ultimately know we respect them when our policy reflects our rhetoric. Reinstating a teaching fellows program to attract the best and brightest, providing opportunities for teachers to improve their skills as professionals, and making sure their kids are healthy and ready to learn in the classroom are vital.

 

North Carolina already ranks 46th in the country and last in the Southeast in per-pupil expenditures for public schools. Many good teachers are leaving for other states for better jobs, and class size has increased. That’s causing parents to lose faith in public schools and undermining North Carolina’s best jobs recruiting tool, our education system.

 

Similarly, I oppose vouchers that drain money from public schools. I support strong standards and openness for all schools, particularly charter schools. While some charters are strong, we see troubling trends, such as a re-segregation of the student population, or misuse of state funds without a way to make the wrongdoers reimburse taxpayers. We need to manage the number of charter schools to ensure we don’t damage public education and we need to better measure charter schools so we can utilize good ideas in all schools.

 

We must support early childhood education as well as our great universities and community colleges. Our approach to quality education must be comprehensive.

 

Here is his education agenda.

Bill Phillis of the Ohio Coalition for Adequacy and Equity reports the latest on the continuing struggle to make the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) accountable:

 

WOW…Ohio Department of Education (ODE) says ECOT owes $60 million for collecting money in the 2015-2016 school year for students not being educated; but the Chairman of the House Education Committee says “a ‘safe harbor’ provision could be added to Senate Bill 3”
A December 5 Dispatch article indicates the legislature will not likely deal with the ECOT $60 million overcharge during the lame duck session; however, the Chairman of the House Education Committee seems to want a “safe harbor” for ECOT and other online charters.

 

ECOT has drained in the range of a billion dollars from school districts since 2000. The 2015-2016 discrepancy is $60 million (60% of the total). If the 60% ratio is applied to all previous years, the amount of school district funds collected by ECOT for students not being educated would be in excess of an astronomical half billion dollars.

 

It is time for Ohio citizens to take control of chartering.