Arne Duncan has turned the D.O.E. into little more than a feeding trough for even the most corrupt and unaccountable charter school operators. His latest gift of $157M to charter privateers comes virtually accountability-free. The most stunning part is that Duncan knows and admits it, making him complicit.
"We still see too many reports of unscrupulous behavior of charter schools and their authorizers," Duncan tells reporters.Ohio, where unscrupulous/corrupt is the name of the game and where charter operators like K12 Inc. and White Hat Management stuff millions into their own pockets, has just received another Duncan grant of more than $32M with another $40 million on the way. It's the largest single award of any state, leaving Ohio's Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan shaking his head in disbelief.
From the Washington Post:
“The charter school system in Ohio is broken and dysfunctional,” said Ryan, who sent a letter Thursday to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, asking him to “place stringent restrictions” on the federal dollars he is sending to Ohio.
“There are people making a lot of money off schools,” he said. “Why would we send more money to schools now, when we know it’s going into the pockets of people?”
|Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) can't believe it.|
Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost, a Republican, said he was “shocked” by Duncan’s decision to pump $32 million into Ohio charters. “Heck, my first thought when I saw the grant award was concern,” Yost said.
In a special audit this year, Yost found a pattern of charter schools inflating enrollment in order to pocket taxpayer subsidies for students who don’t actually attend their schools. Yost, a supporter of charter schools, has called the state’s charter system “broken” and repeatedly urged lawmakers to pass reforms.The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:
It turns out that Ohio's grand plan to stop the national ridicule of its charter school system is giving overseers of many of the lowest-performing schools a pass from taking heat for some of their worst problems.
Gov. John Kasich and both houses of the state legislature are banking on a roundabout plan to improve a $1 billion charter school industry that, on average, fails to teach kids across the state as much as the traditional schools right in their own neighborhoods.Illinois is running second to Ohio in Duncan's grand charter give-away. Gov. Rauner's Dept. of Ed is receiving $21.1M of a recommended $42.2M with much of of it going to politically-connected Chicago operators Noble Network of Charter Schools and Lawndale Educational and Regional Network (LEARN).
This even while IL is entering its 4th month without budget. CPS schools are facing massive layoffs, exploding class size and draconian cuts to special education and after-school programs.
Last week 42 out of 50 Chicago alderman called for a moratorium on charter school expansion.
Duncan continues to the beast.