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Thursday, 18 August 2011 15:59

Scott & Rhee speak in Orlando at a public (?) rally supporting the Charter Schools USA Corporation

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"Any of the extra events that Charter Schools USA puts on come out of their own budget," said spokesman Colleen Reynolds. "It does not affect the schools at all.

Read the full Orlando Sentinel article here. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-charter-management-rally-081811-20110817,0,467688.story

Since $150,000,000 of Florida's tax money is paid annually to Charter Schools USA, the photo-op makes good business sense, but claiming that the money we pay them comes from them but not us is illogical logic and arrogance. Obviously, although this makes good business sense for the for-profit corporation, it is a rip-off scam for taxpayers. Is it legal? Who knows?

Since Michelle Rhee, who is Rick Scott's education adviser, is under investigation for her role in the Washington D.C. schools' cheating scandal - which has now spread to other states as well that claimed much higher scores during her short tenure as D.C. schools' chancellor, her role in this rally needs some explanation. As the founder and CEO of her own highly politically connected organization, Students First, her mere presence shows her prejudice for charter schools that charge 15% or more of a school district's revenues while the charter schools perform worse than public schools in spite of cherry picking and other highly questionable tactics.

Charter School USA's CEO, president and chairman is Jonathan Hage who has worked for George H.W. Bush, was a member of Charlie Crist's educational transition team, was a member of Scott's educational transition team, acted as director of research for Jeb Bush's Foundation for Florida's Future, and is presently an education reformer for Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education. (The board member and Secretary for Foundation for Excellence is Brian Yablonski who also acts as Vice President of Public Affairs for the St. Joe Company which is Florida's largest landowner.)

Wow! Talk about "connected."

Some people might see this as corporate/private corruption, incest or, at the least, nepotism. Others might call the entire arrangement an oligarchy similar to the feudalism of the Dark Ages. Being as fair as possible, the correct term today is "privatization." The future of our children is for sale.

Read this article from the Florida Independent for more details. http://floridaindependent.com/44227/rick-scott-michelle-rhee-charter-schools-usa

PS: As an aside, the profits, perks and salaries of the aforementioned major players are not public record. The information is private - which is why it's all called privatization.

- Ken Previti

 



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