Pharos-Tribune

Breaking News

Opinion

August 27, 2013

PUBLIC FORUM: Letter from Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013

The real problem remains after Bennett’s departure

The recent articles regarding the tenure and actions of Dr. Tony Bennett clearly provide the basis from which one can understand the animus and distrust of educators across Indiana and beyond. But, my guess is that Tony Bennett didn’t dream up the changes he advanced for Indiana schools. Several brain trusts across the country write legislative proposals for legislators, programs for Governors and action plans for state education leaders.

And, special interests fund both the organizations and the political campaigns of those who advocate their thinking. Spend time in the Indiana Secretary of State’s Indiana Election Division reviewing the campaign finance reports of Dr. Bennett, Governor Daniels and numerous legislative leasers and you will soon learn why Dr. Bennett was so passionate about moving charter schools forward. Contributions of such large amounts to anyone’s campaign have to bring pressure and expectations of access to the elected official and action from that official when desired.

The financial demands to win an election are huge. Dr. Bennett spent $1,866,743.43 in his campaign during 2012. And he lost.

Contributions of $65,000 from Ms. DeHahn, $55,150 from Hoosiers for Economic Growth (which also donated large amounts to legislators positioned to impact educational legislation; and was itself the recipient of large amounts of money from an organization in Washington, D.C.), and $49,965 from the American Federation for Children Action fund were necessary for the $1.8 million 2012 campaign. Large contributions can twist and conflict their recipients. And, they would twist and conflict most of us.

So, with Dr. Bennett gone, is the special treatment for charter schools over? Hardly. Not known to most Hoosiers is the fact that the 2013 Indiana Legislature, with the Governor’s signature, enacted into law the HB1001 budget bill including a provision added in the Senate that forgave all Common School Fund debt owed by charted schools in Indiana. Based upon a printout dated Jan. 2, 2013, that provision forgave charter schools $81,828,253.30. Some reports have placed the value at $93 million. With the passage of this legislation, the forgiven debt and the assets purchased by the borrowed funds became the assets of the individuals and/or corporations that sponsor the charter schools. An eighty million dollar gift to charter school sponsors.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • WILLIAMS: Life is not all choices There is a post on Facebook that says, “Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible

    August 21, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Reining in unlimited farm subsidies Reining in unlimitedfarm subsidiesIn January, President Obama declared that despite Congressional logjams, “America does not stand still — and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for Ame

    August 21, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Why government openness matters One of the fundamental lessons of the 9/11 tragedy was that our government carried a share of blame for the failure to stop the attacks. Not because it was asleep at the switch or ignorant of the dangers that Al Qaeda posed, but because the agencies

    August 21, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Continue work of modernizing courts Indiana’s new chief justice, Loretta Rush, has a lot on her plate. She not only has to preside over the Indiana Supreme Court, but also to modernize the state’s other courts as well.Indiana is well on its way toward bringing courts into the 21st cent

    August 21, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Mo-ped law long overdue We’ve all seen them on the streets, and their popularity is only growing. Mo-peds have coasted in a legal grey area for years in Indiana.A lack of registration, testing and licensure allowed those without other means of transport to join other vehicl

    August 20, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Quality of life and leaders both matter It was with some astonishment and much disappointment I read in the Aug. 5 edition of the Pharos-Tribune that one of our local city councilmen was quoted as saying that previous efforts in Logansport to use Tax Increment Financing money for quality o

    August 20, 2014

  • RAMPELL: Here comes Entrepreneur Barbie WASHINGTON — Lego’s groundbreaking female-scientists set sold out almost immediately after it was released this month. But never fear, fans of feminist toys: A new Barbie doll, now in stock, is also shattering the plastic ceiling.Yes, that swan-necke

    August 20, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Police force turning into military? The images this week of Ferguson, Mo., in the wake of the civil unrest caused by the death of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown have been shocking to say the least. Were the dateline removed from the pictures, one could easily imagine t

    August 19, 2014

  • MARCUS: Hoosier workers not gaining on the nation A few readers of the South Bend newspaper have sent emails complaining that either they do not understand my columns or that I waste their time by not sticking to the facts. That I include some of my conclusions from the data seems to be an irritant.

    August 19, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Stock market guru will work for food At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion dollars. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has becom

    August 19, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream Raw: Woman Escorted From Ferguson Protests California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Holder Hopes to Bring Calm to Ferguson US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.