Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘Betsy DeVos’

Fraud, Waste, and Abuse on Full Display at DeVos’s Department of Education

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 4, 2020

In the business world, the acronym “OPM” stands for “Other Peoples’ Money.” But at the Federal level of the United States Government, it stands for “Office of Personnel Management.”

Although Amway multi-millionairess Betsy DeVoss is an employee of the United States Government as the Secretary of Education – an ironic, even hypocritical position for her, since she’s never attended, even as much as set foot in, a Public School in her lifetime, even as Secretary – it’s painfully obvious that she continues to operate by the OPM business principle.

She continues to be resoundingly criticized by many, not all of whom are her political compatriots. If there could be said to be a “guiding light” to her first-ever tenure as a public servant in the capacity which she’s occupied for the past 4 years, it’s more for us, less for you. And in this case, the “us” refers to her wealthy pals, and anyone with a harebrained idea parading under the banner of “choice” and “education.”

As an aside, it’s ironic that Banana Republicans oppose choice in so many areas, especially healthcare; they don’t want a Federal Option for health insurance, they don’t want a woman to have autonomy over her own body to choose to carry or not, etc.

But as “choice” pertains to DeVos and Company, it refers to so-called “charter” schools – the educational “Flavor of the Day” among Banana Republicans. Simply put, charter schools are private, often for-profit and Wall Street-traded entities that compete for limited public tax dollars against Public Schools. Think of them as leeches, mosquitos, and other blood-suckers that little-by-little siphon off the lifeblood from the host upon which they feast. Not quite the scenario of pigs at a trough, but very close enough, because if you attempt to get in between them and their food source, they’ll kill you.

Again, choice is good for them, but bad for you.

And that’s but one example where the hypocrisy of the Banana Republican party comes in.

What you would think if I were to tell you that an entity with no experience in education, was denied local approval, applied for, and was granted well over a million tax dollars to open a charter school, but it never opened, and they kept all the money?

Would you be okay with that?

What about this?

From the 2006/7 through the 2013/14 school year, over 537 prospective charter schools that NEVER EDUCATED EVEN ONE STUDENT, NEVER OPENED, yet received well over $45 million tax dollars?

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks October 15, 2020 at Phoenix International Academy in Arizona.

Would you be okay with that?

What about a charter “school” that never opened even for one day in Pennsylvania, yet was granted well over $30 million by Secretary Betsy DeVos?

Would you be cool with that?

It all happened under Betsy DeVos’s oversight.

Enormous fraud, waste, and abuse is being perpetuated before our very eyes, and yet, we’re told bad is good, sweet is sour, abuse is good, taxes are bad, and government is corrupt by the very ones corrupting it, and lying to our faces about it all.

Read on.


WashingtonPost.com

How A Soccer Club Won A $1.2 Million Grant From Devos’s Education Department To Open A Charter School

by Valerie Strauss
December 3, 2020 at 6:00 a.m. EST

Here’s a new, rather remarkable story about charter school grants recently awarded by the Education Department — including one for more than $1 million that went to a soccer club in Pennsylvania that had no experience running a school.

This is one of a number of pieces I have run in recent years about the Federal Charter School Program, which has invested close to $4 billion in these schools since it began giving grants in 1995.

Charter schools, a key feature of the “school choice” movement, are financed by the public but privately operated. About 6 percent of U.S. schoolchildren attend charter schools, with California having the most charter schools and the most charter students.

Charters had bipartisan support for years, but a growing number of Democrats have pulled back from the movement, citing the fiscal impact on school districts and repeated scandals in the sector.

Charter supporters say the 30-year-old movement offers important alternatives to traditional public schools, which educate the vast majority of U.S. students, and that the movement is still learning. Opponents say there is little public accountability over many charters and that they drain resources from traditional districts.

Research shows student outcomes are, overall, largely the same in charter and traditional public schools, although there are failures and exemplars in both.

This piece, like a number of earlier ones on charters, was written by Carol Burris, a former New York high school principal who serves as executive director of the Network for Public Education, a nonprofit group that advocates for public education.

Burris, who opposes charter schools, was named the 2010 Educator of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State, and in 2013, the National Association of Secondary School Principals named her the New York State High School Principal of the Year.

I asked the Education Department to comment on the grant to the soccer club, about which Burris writes, but did not get an immediate response. I will add it if I do.

By Carol Burris

In late September 2020, amid the covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education awarded nearly $6 million to five organizations to open new charter schools. One of the five awardees was “The All Football Club, Lancaster Lions Corporation,” located in Lancaster, Pa. The club had no experience running either a private school or a charter school, yet nevertheless pitched the AFCLL Academy Charter School for a grant from the federal Charter School Program (CSP).

The CSP awarded the football club $1,260,750 to be spent within its first five years, even though their submitted application only received 70 of 115 possible points by reviewers — a failing grade of 61 percent. And the club did not have permission from the local school board to actually open the school.

That award of tax dollars to an unauthorized charter school shines a light on how the federal CSP is driven by an ideology with only one aim — to push taxpayer dollars into the hands of would-be private charter operators, even if the school appears doomed to fail from the start.

As the Network for Public Education explained in two recent reports on the CSP program, the application reviewers, who are all Read the rest of this entry »

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