Ohio House Set to Open State Checkbook to Failed Charter Chain

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Campaign Contributor David Brennan's Failed White Hat Management To Get Cash Boost from House Lawmakers

(June 3, 1014) --- Placing political interests and cash paybacks ahead of the interests of Ohio's young adults, the Ohio House is poised to pass House Bill 483 allowing potentially millions of additional dollars to flow to the already failed White Hat Management charter school chain founded, owned and operated by campaign contributor David Brennan.

The House is set to vote Wednesday June 4.

White Hat Management has been given $1.07 billion in public tax dollars since Brennan opened the chain in 1998. In return, White Hat's Brennan and his family have given more than $2.7 million to Republican politicians.

The Republican-controlled conference committee accepted language allowing the failed White Hat charter chain to expand its services to students ages 22-29 years old. This tees up approval by the Republican-controlled House as early as tomorrow.

This provision originated as a stalled stand-alone bill which morphed into an amendment to the MBR. In its earlier deliberation, the Senate smartly removed the White Hat provision, allowing instead for such services to be provided through the more productive route of adult literacy programs already run by traditional public schools and career centers. Despite the Senate's clarity on concerns with increasing public money to White Hat, the House reinstated the expansion.

"This is very frustrating since White Hat charters have such a poor record of getting dropouts to graduation or earning a diploma," said Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers. "The state gives White Hat hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and has given the for-profit company more than a billion public tax dollars since its inception.

"Despite more than a decade of operation, the charter chain produces dismal academic results which fail both the students it enrolls and Ohio taxpayers. Giving Brennan's White Hat charter chain more public money with no return on this investment makes no sense unless you look at Brennan's political contributions," Cropper said. "State resources are scarce. This is not the time to give more money to a failed program."

* Contact OFT at 614-258-3240