Home > Uncategorized > DeVos Gets PR For Destruction of Public Education… But REAL Destruction is by GOP at State Level

DeVos Gets PR For Destruction of Public Education… But REAL Destruction is by GOP at State Level

A recent Cincinnati.com op ed article by Dan Mooney underscores the reality that Betsy DeVos is not leading the charge against public schools at the State level, she is jumping in front of a parade that has already started and well underway… especially in Ohio a state led by a supposedly “moderate” Republican.

Mr. Mooney opens his op ed noting that the GOP at all levels is opposing public education despite the fact that 88% of the school age students attend those schools. Why? Because there is a lot of money to be made in privatization… and Mr. Mooney offers some specific examples of how it has been done in Ohio:

  • Akron businessman David Brennan whose “...lobbyists helped draft Ohio’s original charter legislation” and made “…$1 million in political contributions to elected GOP officials.” His “White Hat” and “Life Skills” schools, who at one time dominated the market, were “among the lowest performers in the state [and] were plagued from the start with allegations of padded enrollment and skirting accountability.” Mr. Brennan ultimately “…sold off his Ohio charter school empire to other profiteers, but only after pocketing a bundle of money.
  • Bill Lager, of the now infamous ECOT (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow), a “virtual” charter that collected more than $7000 annually per “student”, but had no classrooms. “Students” were shipped cheap PCs, and more than $1 billion in state dollars flowed to ECOT. But many of those “students” may never have logged on.  An audit disclosed more than $80 million in overbilling. Rather than refund taxpayers, ECOT shut down, leaving parents scrambling and  taxpayers holding the bag. How did Mr. Lager get away with this? As Mr. Mooney explains, “…$2 million in campaign cash to (mostly) GOP candidates and committees” helped a lot, and his recent contribution of $50,000 to the current GOP ticket of Mike DeWine and Jon Husted should help him pocket more in the future.
  • And the notorious Fetallah Gullen operates 17 Ohio charters funded an all expenses paid trip to Turkey for the former Ohio speaker of the house, Cliff Rosenburg, who, like Mr. Gullen is under FBI investigations for shady dealings.

Mr. Mooney closes his essay with this question:

Will Ohio voters rebel against this war on our public schools; or will all that charter cash buy the GOP another four years of dominance in Columbus?

My version of this question: Will voters turn out to vote against GOP legislators at the state level who have declared war on our public schools; or will all the privatizers cash buy the GOP more time to drain resources from the locally controlled public schools?

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