Monday, March 12, 2018

House Bill 512: ECOT's Revenge

Last week, I testified against House Bill 512 -- the political takeover of the state's education system. During that testimony, I mentioned how HB 512 seems an awful lot like payback against the Ohio Department of Education for forcing the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow to return about $80 million to Ohio taxpayers for kids the former virtual school giant charged taxpayers for educating, but they couldn't prove actually participated.

It reminded me of when you buy an embarrassing item at a store and try to hide the purchase with a bunch of other, innocuous things. Yeah, you might be buying 50 things. But you're really just buying the one thing.

So, I decided to look at the political contributions from ECOT founder Bill Lager and other ECOT-affiliated people to co-sponsors of the legislation. And you'll never guess what I found. ECOT people gave 5 of the 8 HB 512 co-sponsors more than $74,000 in campaign contributions in the 2014 and 2016 election cycles.

Reineke is the primary sponsor of the bill. Blessing is the chairman of the Government Accountability and Oversight committee, which is holding hearings on the bill.

Interestingly, Koehler just announced he is no longer supporting HB 512, even though he is currently listed as a co-sponsor -- never a good sign for your legislation.

If you are trying to argue that this is a bill about kids and not punishing adults, it becomes increasingly more incredible to say that once you see just how supportive ECOT has been to the adults sponsoring this legislation.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting how we can bring up donations from one individual or group yet never discuss how the donations of Federal and State Teacher Unions and other anti-eschool fanatics that tend to run the Ohio Department of Education and those politicians that finance the majority of their campaigns, or failed campaigns, from the union funds?

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  2. The Ohio Education Association, teacher union, not counting anti-eschool pro-brick and mortar public school affiliates, have donated over $21 million dollars. Again, not counting National or other local "education associations". During 2006 and 2016 OEA also hired 11 lobbyists. UPDATE: "followthemoney" site just updated (3/22/2018) OEA donations to $22.5 million. Extremely busy this election year adding $1.5 million to Democrats and select Republican puppets.

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