In September, Arne Duncan and the USDOE awarded the Ohio Department of Education a $71 million grant to expand its scandal-ridden charter school program, but public outcry convinced the US Department of Education to think twice and add some stipulations before any money would be released. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/11/05/the-not-to-be-believed-letter-sent-by-u-s-education-department-to-ohio/
Many Ohioans feel that the added requirements don’t go far enough. Since officials at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) were recently caught scrubbing failing charter school scores, and they were secretly involved in the covert takeover of Youngstown City Schools, it raises concerns regarding ODE’s ability to administer the grant properly.
There needs to be a further stipulation that all of Ohio’s grant money be withheld until a thorough and independent investigation is completed on the practices of ODE as they relate to the potential unconstitutionality of the Youngstown plan developed in secret and the illegal rating of charter school sponsors.
Arne Duncan needs to hear from us NOW.
Persuade your local school board, as well as your public ed advocacy organization, to send this resolution to Arne Duncan and the USDOE, asking them to withhold the Ohio Charter School Grant funds pending an independent and thorough investigation of ODE practices.
Individuals can copy, paste, edit, and send the following resolution to Duncan as well.
WHEREAS, after months of covert meetings led by the Ohio Department of Education, Ohio’s Legislature swiftly passed a school takeover bill, and its governor signed “The Youngstown Plan” into law, a plan to takeover public school districts with low test scores and replace them with charter schools, and
WHEREAS, the Youngstown Plan may have bypassed Article VI Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution, stating that, “Provision shall be made by law for the organization, administration and control of the public school system of the state supported by public funds: provided, that each school district embraced wholly or in part within any city shall have the power by referendum vote to determine for itself the number of members and the organization of the district board of education, and provision shall be made by law for the exercise of this power by such school districts,” and
WHEREAS, Ohio’s chief charter school oversight officer resigned when it was revealed that he purposefully tampered with charter school sponsor evaluations to hide failing performance scores, and
WHEREAS, that very same chief charter school oversight officer was the Ohio Department of Education representative who filled out Ohio’s USDOE grant application, and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Education already has imposed additional stipulations on how Ohio will be watched as the federal government releases the $71 million grant money over the next three years; therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED that ____________________________ strongly urges Arne Duncan and the U.S. Department of Education to further stipulate that all of Ohio’s grant money be withheld until a thorough and independent investigation is completed on the practices of the Ohio Department of Education as they relate to the potential unconstitutionality of the Youngstown plan developed in secret and the illegal rating of charter school sponsors.
SEND YOUR RESOLUTIONS TO:
The Honorable Arne Duncan
Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Department of Education Building
400 Maryland Ave, SW Washington, DC 20202
We are many. There is power in our numbers. Together we will save PUBLIC EDUCATION.