Monday, June 24, 2013

OH Republican Mega Donors Get Lion's Share of Charter Money

As we reported today at Innovation Ohio, one of the real concerns with the current state budget, which is working its way through a joint House-Senate Conference Committee is this: Republican mega-donors David Brennan (White Hat Management) and William Lager (ECOT) saw major increases in their funding. Meanwhile, Charter Schools that actually do a far better job educating children received far less additional revenue.

To give you an idea of just how much better Brennan and Lager's schools do, take a look at this statistic: Brennan and Lager run 33 of the state's 369 Charter Schools, or 9 percent. Yet according to the Ohio Senate's Charter School simulations, Brennan and Lager's schools will receive $8.6 million additional over last school year. That represents 38 percent of all the increases to the rest of the 336 Charter Schools. So 38 percent of the increase to Charters went to 9 percent of the schools.

Looking at it another way, Brennan and Lager's schools take so much money away from the state's other Charter Schools that their average increase gets cut 32 percent.

Brennan and Lager are the top individual contributors to the Republican leadership in the House and Senate  (or close to it) . And they're no slouches when it comes to Gov. John Kasich either. They've given nearly $1 million to politicians since 2008.

Is it just a coincidence that they receive the lion's share of the benefit in the area of the budget that most interests them?

I think not.