Before coming to work for the state of Ohio, Mr. Hansen was a lobbyist for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. He was also an adviser to Buckeye Charter School Boards Inc., a training and support group for charter schools.
Ohio Charter Schools have been under fire recently for poor performance and a lack of oversight. In Eduweek's yearly survey, Ohio schools have fallen from 5th in 2010 to 18th in 2014. The Fordham Institute, a conservative think tank representing charter schools, even posted that Ohio risked becoming a national laughingstock.
Bipartisan legislation, designed to help fix the problem, has stalled in the Ohio House while SB70, a proposal designed to allow the state to take over schools by appointing a CEO and advocating for more charter schools was just recently signed into law by Governor Kasich.
Charter schools have been among the biggest contributors to Ohio lawmakers in recent years. The following chart illustrates what just one man, David Brennan of White Hat Management, has contributed to state legislators.
In return, since 1998-99, Ohio has sent $7.3 billion to charter schools. Of this, $1.76 billion have gone to schools run by Brennan and William Lager of the Electronic Classroom of tomorrow.
David Akadjian is the author of The Little Book of Revolution: A Distributive Strategy for Democracy.
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