Charter School Finance Footnoted

Public funds lining private pockets

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Why this Topic & What I Intend to Do

First a little bit of my qualifications: I was trained at FAST/AFL-CIO in the 1995 to do deep corporate research of all kinds to dissect the financial and operational disclosures of employers in many industries including many leading edu-profiteers like Edison.  I had a hand in the Ohio Federation of Teachers exposure work on David Brennan and White Hat Management.  I had a hand in the years of exposure work on the Walton family.  Most recently I was an under-utilized campaigner at the American Federation of Teachers and had a hand in many unpublicized or quiet projects.  Now I am out from under AFT publicity restrictions.  I can do and say what I want to whomever I please, thus I am doing this as my hobby.  In most part because it needs to be done and the teacher unions won’t do it right.  Also I want to stay connected on the side of the angels defending public education as a fundamental right for all kids in America.

While I plan to do the leg work on charter school financial dealings and comment regularly here and out on the other notable education blogs, I want to periodically try to show where these financial disclosures are available to the public and teach people to fish around themselves.  These loose trainings will be titled “Fish Around and Start Things” for each posting.  First will be a post on EMMA, the primary online resource for municipal bonds which include nearly every charter school bond filing.  There will be other trainings on how to insert public scrutiny earlier and earlier in the bond issuance process so defenders of public education can learn how to intervene and possibly block funding for any clearly disastrous charter schools.

My inspirations:

  • The workers everywhere who risk their economic security to create new unions despite the legal obstacles intentionally built by the U.S. government
  • Neil Young and Van Morrison: Because I don’t have a musical cell in my body, I had to apply my creativity to taking on employers

  • Diane Ravitch: Because she show such intellectual honesty every single second and committed herself to winning the constant debates as a public intellectual
  • Local Initiative Support Corporation: Because this group tries to do so much good but has become an unashamed salesman for the banks profiting from charter school financial engineering

My windmills:

  • Fethullah Gulen and his trusted field general Hasan Ali Yurtsever: Because it takes great organizational skills to deploy tens thousands of followers around the globe and get the U.S. government to pay $400 million a year to “employ” thousands of barely employable adherents in this country.  Only in America! There will be a series on the bonds issued by Gulen schools starting with Chicago Mathematics and Science Academy where Yurtsever briefly served as a board member in 2010 before being chased off.

  • Juan Rangel: Because he may yet become the next fallen NAPCS savior but not before UNO hangs its bond debt on its investors

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