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Friday, April 20, 2007

The ultimate oxymoron: charter-school accountability

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2007 at 4:51 PM

Forget "jumbo shrimp," "military intelligence," and "Browns win." State Auditor Mary Taylor has invented the ultimate oxymoron: charter-school accountability. Hoping to bring fiscal prudence to what's easily the state's most wasteful program — and that's saying a lot -- Taylor's office is offering financial-training workshops to Ohio's charter schools. Attendance is voluntary, but those who feel guilty enough to show up will learn about the laws they've been flaunting for years. C-Notes wondered what kind of buzz the workshops were getting. So we asked White Hat Management, the state's largest private operator of charters, if they planned to send anyone. We had a reason: Policy Matters Ohio says the company received $100 million in funding last fiscal year, but won't even disclose what it spends on textbooks. "I think several of my staff members could TEACH the classes," came the reply, "but I am sure that we will participate in any way the Auditor's office would desire." We're betting the company gets a pass. David Brennan, White Hat's founder, has given more than $40,000 to Taylor the last two years. — Jason Nedley

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