The reason that Freedomworks is pushing Governor Jindal's plan is because they are concerned with Economic Development--- THEIRS! (CEO Ron Packard made $5 mil from his compensation package in 2011 alone!--Remember, the vast majority of the $ k12, inc. makes is PUBLIC money.)
In 1993, former Sec. of Education, William Bennett, founded Empower America.
In 2003, Dick Armey founded Citizens for a Sound Economy.
In 2004, Empower America and Citizens for a Sound Economy merged to form FreedomWorks, appointing Bennett as its FreedomWorks Senior Fellow in charge of pushing school vouchers.
In between all of that, William Bennett was busy creating K12, Inc. in 2000 along with Michael Milken (of security fund fraud fame) and Ron Packard.
K12 Inc. virtual schools are state-funded schools that use K12's program and curriculum to offer distance education. The schools are considered virtual public schools. They have been in charge of LA's Virtual Academy since the start of this school year to the tune of many millions of dollars--and that's just our state. Despite lower costs, online schools charge states almost as much as traditional schools. Schools use that money to pay for advertising and lobbying state officials. K12 spent $26.5 million in advertising in 2010. K12 and its employees contributed nearly $500,000 to state political candidates from 2004 to 2010-- and, believe me, they did not exclude our LA officeholders! K12 has contributed money to organizations like Pennsylvania Families for Public Cyber Schools, which lobbied for online schools. In Ohio, an organization founded by a K12 official hired temp agency workers to demonstrate with signs against state representative Steven Dryer, who challenged their funding.
Now, Governor Jindal wants to expand vouchers statewide while acknowledging that there are not enough spaces in private schools for the children. Anyone believe it a coincidence, now that K12, Inc. is in place, that the governor also intends to expand the Virtual Schools? Those children will have to go somewhere, now won't they???
Meanwhile, we can look forward to K12, Inc. squeezing profits from public school funding by raising enrollment, increasing teacher workload, and lowering standards as they have done all over the country. And, not that I want our children having "adequately yearly progress" on these UN standards; however, if we're going to give millions to K12, Inc., it would be minimal to expect that they better their performance thus far: only a third of K12’s schools achieved adequate yearly progress as required by NCLB. As a result, and for a multitude of other reasons, the company has several lawsuits pending.
It could be that K12, Inc. is simply suffering from a lack of character in their leadership:
Mr. Milken was indicted on 98 counts of racketeering and securities fraud in 1989 as the result of an insider trading investigation. After a plea bargain in which he testified against his colleagues, he pled guilty to six securities and reporting violations but was never convicted of racketeering or insider trading. Milkin was sentenced to ten years in prison and permanently barred from the securities industry by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was not barred from forming corporations, however; and, so he set his sights on the billions of dollars that are publicly-funded in education.
The Philadelphia Board of Education called for a termination of the $3 million dollar contract with K12 after William Bennett said, “if you wanted to reduce crime … you could abort every Black baby in the country and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.” He resigned from his executive positions within the organization after this incident. I wish this was the only concern regarding Bennett, but it isn't.
Add to this the fact that President George W. Bush's brother Neil is also involved in Virtual Schools. While FreedomWorks and other groups tout the strong stance that Florida took with regard to School Choice under Jeb Bush's reign, they fail to note that it was his brother, Neil, who got the contract for test preparation software : http://voices.washing...
Yet, they make it sound as though it was about the children and reforming education. Here's another enlightening article: http: //www.businesswe...
So, in Neil Bush (main character--there's that pesky word again-- in the Savings and Loan Scandal) we have the brother of the president of the United States who made standardized testing based on UN standards a requirement for states to receive their education funding. Then, brother Jeb, the governor of Florida, institutes the testing and contracts with his brother's company, Ignite!, to provide the test preparation software. Meanwhile, mom Laura makes a donation that was expressly for putting Neil's software in Texas schools. Likewise, Katrina was a friend to Neil as Katrina funds were also used to fund his company in Texas. Did I mention his other friend? Michael Milken who invested along with other unbelievable characters in Ignite! And, so the circle is complete.
K 12, INC. AND ONE EXAMPLE OF HOW FREEDOMWORKS DOES NOT STAND FOR CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES