Fresh off news that it’s about to build an $11 million charter school in Jacksonville, it’s no surprise that Charter Schools USA wouldn’t want to answer any questions about the entity that’s enabled it’s rise. But when asked to respond to questions about it’s relationship to Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, the charter school corporation sent this to Tampa Tribune reporter William March:
“We’re not interested in being used in an article meant to misrepresent the great work the Foundation for Educational Excellence does to promote positive educational choices for students and parents by improving the performance of public schools in the U.S.”
Attacking a large state newspaper is never a good idea. Especially when your own mouthpieces have been so open about “bad actors” in the charter school industry and are pushing legislation which helps you open more facilities. Charter Schools USA top lobbyist, former education commissioner Jim Horne wrote a bill which would enable his clients to take over at no cost buildings that public schools aren’t using or schools that have been recently closed.
In light of it’s plans to build an expensive new facility and December’s news that Charter Schools USA had secured it’s third multi-million dollar loan since 2010, such a shameless land grab proposal amounts to unwarranted corporate welfare.
As a recipient of taxpayer dollars and an agent in continuing efforts to advance legislation that benefits itself financially, Charter Schools USA is obliged to answer questions from a state newspaper reporter. It’s refusal – in the form of an attack on the integrity of the reporter and his newspaper – is stonewalling at a disturbing level. They must realize that Jeb Bush’s foundation is the key to maintaining their profit margin and will take any action to protect it.