Writes Coral Springs Talk reporter Sharon Aron Baron:
Imagine your neighbor owns a Ford dealership, however not only will he not drive a Ford, none his family will either, preferring to drive BMW’s. Now imagine this: the state is giving his dealership money because they believe in his business.
Charter Schools USA operates 58 schools in several states, including Florida, for a combined 48,000 students, however, Charter Schools USA Founder Jonathan Hage along with his wife Sherry, Chief Academic Officer, send all four of their children to Pine Crest Schools – a private school. Tuition for four children at Pine Crest Schools costs over $100,000 a year. In addition to the annual tuition, the Hage’s are big donors to the school and last year donated over $10,000 to their annual fund.
No word on whether or not the Hage’s send their kids to a private school to avoid high-stakes testing or if any voucher kids go there.
“It’s not a comforting feeling. It certainly make you wonder why,” said Renaissance Charter School parent Kevin Muscolino who said he liked the school for his daughter who is attending her first year there. “This would be the same as if the guys working at my body shop took their cars to the dealership to be fixed.”
Charters Schools USA receive $5,705 per student from the state of Florida. This doesn’t even include additional millions in facilities funding as well as advanced placement (AP) fees.
Let’s just do the math: With 8,600 students attending their seven schools in Broward County, this brings in over $49 million dollars annually for Charters Schools USA.
No crime against the Hage’s being rich, or in sending their kids to private schools for that matter. Being rich has its benefits, like say, being able to afford sending money to politicians who support policies which will assure that those kind of dollars continue to roll in for his Broward schools. A Palm Beach Post story revealed that Hage gave $214, 450 in the 2012 campaign. In September 2013, he gave $50,000 to Rick Scott’s PAC and $5000 to the Republican Party of Florida.