Bonds for Charter Schools that can’t write English

If the Dayton Public Schools sent out an 8-page newsletter like the “Horizon Science Academy,” a congressman would be crawling up their behinds questioning why they are allowed to teach our children.

However, this charter school is about to get tax-exempt bonds to finance their little money-making “non-profit” skool. Oh, did I misspell that?

“This newsletter is only a few pages from your neighborhood school” opening line of the “Director’s Letter” on page 2.

“Having only about 200 students, we know all the students and their parents with their names and personalities”

“Horizon schools are good for all students at different academic levels: if your child is behind the grade level, our teachers spend extra time with them via after school tutoring and Saturday schools.

“to give our students a breath from hard work”

“Another breath that our students take is when it’s time for our elective classes”

Signed- “Mr. Matt”

Then we have a “Parent Comment” on “would you recommend other families to Horizon Science Academy – Dayton Downtown”

“Yes, because I seen an instant change in my child’s grades, wanting to go to school, she is happy here.”

I’ve attached a PDF of this “newsletter” for you to see for yourself:Horizon Science Academy newsletter

The vote will be Tuesday, July 26-

Deputy County Administrator Joe Tuss said the resolution was pulled from the commission agenda Thursday because of significant interest in the Horizon Science Academy and the way its new school building would be financed.

“We want to make sure we’ve got all the information together before we put it before the commission for consideration,” Tuss said.

via Dayton Daily News Archive of Past Articles | Montgomery County.

The original article on the vote:

Montgomery County commissioners will decide Thursday whether to approve the issuance of $9.2 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds to expand a controversial charter school in Dayton. Deputy County Administrator Joe Tuss said the county would have no liability for the issuance of the bonds, but commission approval is required under the Internal Revenue Code.

The bonds would be issued by the Industrial Development Authority of the County of Pima, Ariz. Proceeds of the bonds would be loaned to New Plan Learning, Inc., an Ohio nonprofit corporation, to finance the expansion of Horizon Science Academy — Dayton High School at 250 Shoup Mill Road.

Chicago-based Concept Schools runs 19 Ohio charter schools, including three Horizon Science Academies in Dayton. One of the state’s largest operators of publicly financed charters, it was founded by Turkish educators inspired by religious leader and scholar, Fethullah Gulen.

The commissioners unanimously approved the same issuance of bonds in June 2010, but the process is being repeated because the approval expired before bonds could be issued, officials said.

Concept Vice President Salim Ucan said the plan calls for moving students from an elementary school at 545 Odlin Ave. to the Shoup Mill location to create a K-12 campus by the 2012-13 school year.

Part of the school would be renovated to add classrooms, offices, labs and a cafeteria, and a new gymnasium also would be built.

School officials also want to purchase 3.26 acres of adjacent property for athletic fields.

via Dayton Daily News Archive of Past Articles | Charter seeking $9.2M to expand.

A very quick investigation of Concept Schools- on their own website, finds them rebutting a TV news story in Cleveland about the recruitment of Turkish teachers using H1B visas to teach at Horizon Schools. In a state where we are extra finicky about who teaches in unionized public schools- it’s odd that we are now so short of qualified Americans to teach at HS and below- that we have to go to Turkey.

But the true zinger is that our property values that are so low and their business model is so untested that banks won’t lend to them in Dayton:

Fourth, such reports raise concerns about the Horizon Science Academy in Dayton, which is leasing its facility from an Ohio limited liability company that is owned by a Turkish businessman who was willing to take a risk on the development of this property as a school, when Dayton area banks and others were not. The Dayton school leases the property for $3.78 a square foot, which is a bargain compared to medium grade office space in Dayton, which is leased for $10 a square foot or more. News stories that make this sound like hundreds of thousand of dollars go oversees is nothing but part of an agenda of sensationalizing their stories.

via Concept’ s rebuttal of recent news stories in Ohio – Concept Schools.

This means that the tax-free bonds that Montgomery County is about to issue- are to help pay a foreign investor off. Can I sign up for that deal? And- even more confusing is that according to the article- which is clear as mud- the Industrial Development Authority of the County of Pima, Ariz is issuing them? Huh? Right on their website under the non-profit area it says:

PURPOSE

The Industrial Development Authority of the County of Pima (the “Authority”), in conjunction with Wells Fargo Bank, is committed to supporting the development and expansion of the local community by awarding low interest rate loans (“Non-Profit Loan”) to nonprofit organizations in Pima County.

via Pima County Industrial Development Authority.

Is Pima County breaking its own rules?

Why is Mr. Tuss even wasting time on this deal? Is he creating more of his famous “high tech jobs”- to be imported from Turkey? Considering the state has already created a charter high school focusing on STEM- the Dayton Regional STEM school– which just bought and is remodeling the former Value City Department Store on Woodman- where is the essential public need for this school that can’t spel?

Hint for the Montgomery County Commissioners- just vote Know, I mean NO. Otherwise, we’ll have to start digging into this more and find out who is getting paid off for this dumb deal.

I need a breath from all this hard work.

UPDATE- 10:20PM- I took a breath- and then dug a little deeper:

The IDA does not act as a lender but as a “conduit,” allowing a lender to issue tax-free bonds on behalf of the borrower, Russo said. The conduit role earns the IDA fees and brings money to its partner in many projects, the Community Investment Corp.

The IDA receives a $3,000 fee for each successful application, and gets a fee of one-tenth of 1 percent of the principal of each bond issue every year. That money can help the IDA with other programs it runs, such as a nonprofit loan program and a program that helps single-family home buyers, Russo said.

The Community Investment Corp. acts as the administrator of the IDA’s charter-school financing projects. For its services the corporation charges a set-up-fee of $1,000 and an annual fee of $8,000 or $12,000, depending on the size of the bond issue. That money can help the corporation’s charter-school-finance program and other activities, such as investments in local start-ups, said executive director Frank Valenzuela, also a director of the IDA.

via Financing group’s practices questioned.

When you look at the site for “The Community Investment Corp” you find a shell of a site- with pages still under construction- even though this non-profit was set up in 1996. From their “Site”

The Community Investment Corporation (CIC) was founded in 1996 as a non-profit 5O1(c)3 agency to assist small businesses and provide public purpose services. Working in collaboration with other agencies, CIC has provided investment in new and existing businesses for start up and business expansion.

Once again, smoke and mirrors. So what we have is the Montgomery County Commissioners, voting to approve a tax exempt bond issued by a development authority in Tucson AZ that subcontracts to another Tucson non-profit to administer the bond, which is floated by a Wall Street bank (like Wells Fargo) to an Ohio non-profit, for a Chicago based firm, owned by Turks to put a school in Dayton.

And we wonder why the country is about to head into default?

 

 

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35 Responses

  1. Marianne July 25, 2011 / 3:17 pm
    EXCELLENT column, David!   This is just one more instance of behind the scenes maneuvering that provides profit for questionable characters and companies while miserably failing the public it is purported to serve.  What we need is a fair and strong public school system run by educators, not political hacks and business administrators, along with a return to public, not private provision of public services.  
  2. truddick July 25, 2011 / 3:18 pm
    And the current legislature wants to reduce oversight for these schools, despite the widespread mismanagement of public funds.

    In education as in so much else, you get what you pay for. 

  3. Gary July 25, 2011 / 8:02 pm
    It’s schools like these is why half the Dayton population cannot read nor write worth a darn!  I try not to let it drive me crazy … on this blog you see it, too … FYI, someone wrote dying as dieing, and it never ends, so sad …
    Go back to Turkey dude, now!
  4. David Esrati July 25, 2011 / 10:29 pm

    Please re-read the post- I’ve updated it with more information from AZ- apparently, there are questions in Tucson as well about this financial foolery.

  5. Hall July 25, 2011 / 10:36 pm
    “It’s schools like these is why half the Dayton population cannot read nor write worth a darn!  I try not to let it drive me crazy … on this blog you see it, too … FYI, someone wrote dying as dieing, and it never ends, so sad”

    Pot, meet kettle 

  6. Marianne July 25, 2011 / 10:47 pm
    Just want to point out, as someone who lived there for more than a decade, that it’s TUCSON, not Tuscan.  I realize it was just a slip of the fingers but want to make sure it’s spelled correctly!
  7. Civil Servants Are People, Too July 26, 2011 / 12:43 am
    Well done.   The more complex the financials, the more you have to wonder what’s up…
     
     
    By the way, these folks are posting illegal yard signs around town, too.   I see them all over the post office on Fifth Street near the Oregons district.    Is that considered littering?
     
     
  8. David Esrati July 26, 2011 / 6:00 am

    @Marianne- thank you – it’s fixed.

    @CSAPT- thank you for reminding me- I’d already taken pictures of some of the illegal signs, and forgotten to post them. I’ll add them to the post later. They are all over NW Dayton.

  9. Jesse July 26, 2011 / 9:21 am
    David,

    I couldn’t agree more with your thesis that government mismanagement, misallocations and malinvestment of funds draws “investors” from around the world looking to profit off of the backs of the citizens forced to pay into broken systems. I therefore support your call to remove these unnecessary and unwarranted powers from the government.  Brilliant suggestion. 

  10. Gerald July 26, 2011 / 12:33 pm
    I have a good friend that is a professor at UD.  Many DPS teachers complete their required master’s degree work at UD.  In the last 10 years he has run into numerous DPS teachers that cannot write a complete sentence in English or complete basic math problems.  These teachers end up getting a masters degree in education because in that program they teach “educational concepts” that do not require the teacher to actually be able to write sentences or do math problems etc.  This fits in with DPS concepts like “unique learning styles” where speaking and writing English properly are not required.  UD does this primarily because they don’t want to fail black teachers and get racially harassed by the local NAACP idiots or City of Dayton Commissioners.  The same forces that drive hiring black police officers that are so dumb they cannot pass a basic police exam are at work in DPS.  Western and Eastern Europe have rejected diversity and multiculturalism recently because they don’t want to lower the standards for everyone and dumb down the entire society any more to accommodate a culture that does not pull its own weight.  Wake up liberals, wake up.

    How long has Joe Lacey been working for Auditor Keith?  I wonder how he got that job?

  11. Hall July 26, 2011 / 12:42 pm
    So now UD is no better than school systems that allow kids who can’t read, write, etc to “pass” and/or graduate ?
  12. Gary July 26, 2011 / 12:55 pm
    @ Gerald — Please ask your UD professor buddy how hard and how long he spends with his students, in English class … Seems to me, a good instructor would have adequate time to help an adult learn, by drilling and drilling them, dedicating themself to helping the student … during the time in class and for homework, usually several months, right?
    But if the students didn’t have good teachers in elementary, intermediate and high school, it may be quite a challenge–for me, I felt inadequate if I didn’t spell correctly, etc.  One English problem I see people use often is: its’ which is not correct, it’s either it’s for it is, or it’s like, the tree there, its leaves are green.

    Also noted was you pin-pointed Black student, oh shit, here we go again — I am so sick of the NAACP and all the Blacks whom cry racism over and over!  Jesus, parents must help too — there are poor students in every race!
    I have actually heard of an idea to make rapping and jiving, etc. a new language, and make a new dictionary — well, many cultures have slang in their language, and it’s getting older and older each time I try to talk to them … :-(

  13. David Esrati July 26, 2011 / 1:03 pm

    @Gerald- we’re heading off topic here. But- I have met a DPS Principal who speaks semi-ghetto english.

    As a DPS parent with 2 kids- I’ve not encountered any of these incompetent teachers- but, I did post something written by Nellie Terrell- who had taught in DPS and then was elected to the School Board that showed her lack of command of the English language: http://esrati.com/voter-fraud-photo-id/6519/

  14. Marianne July 26, 2011 / 2:34 pm
    Because someone posts something or says something, it doesn’t make it so!  It’s so easy to make statements that generalize or that pander to our baser instincts or to majority misperceptions.  Let’s face it – there IS racism in America.  Equating test scores with intelligence is a mistake.  Many very intelligent people who have not had access to decent parenting or better schools are crippled by this void in their education but they are still more than qualified and able to communicate effectively and to perform their jobs well.  We seem to have lost both our compassion and our desire to understand each other.  Sad, really.
  15. jesse July 26, 2011 / 3:20 pm
    Marianne,

    I don’t understand your post.  Are you saying that people who are innately intelligent but have not learned anything due to a lack of educational opportunities should be allowed to teach or run schools?  

    How is the statement “are crippled by this void in their education but they are still more than qualified and able to communicate effectively and to perform their jobs well” even coherent much less cogent.  

    If they are “crippled by a lack of education” how can they possibly be able to communicate effectively and perform their jobs well? 

  16. jesse July 26, 2011 / 3:21 pm
     above sentence should read… How is the statement “are crippled by this void in their education but they are still more than qualified and able to communicate effectively and to perform their jobs well” even coherent, much less cogent? 
  17. David Sparks July 26, 2011 / 6:43 pm
    I wonder how many of the buildings the City of Dayton is proposing to sell off will wind up as charter schools?

    Read the proposed ordinance from tomorrow’s meeting here:

     http://daytoninformer.com/?p=1207

  18. David Esrati July 27, 2011 / 10:31 am

    From an article only available in the dead tree edition of today’s DDN:

    “Commission President Deb Lieberman on Tuesday asked her staff to draft a policy related to the commission’s role in the issuance of bonds for charter schools and when it is appropriate for the board to use its authority fo that kind of financing.”

    They have again postponed a vote.

  19. Gary July 27, 2011 / 11:14 am
    Fo that kind of financing ????
    Off the cuff … Aren’t bonds a thing of the past, like when my great grandma was alive?  And aren’t bonds worthless these days?  How long do they take to mature?  Sounds like the charter schools are doomed if they accept them, especially from the County, who is run by quacks IMO, all puppets!
    Then Horizon wants to be a non-profit; ha, non-profits are quite wealthy as long as they say they are buying books for the students, for example!
    But overall on education, I say a lack of education is because YOU are just too darn lazy to go to school and apply yourself, you’d rather do drugs and drink all day, am I not right?  But also, and again, don’t count on your degrees to help you get the ideal job, you must be assertive these days, or know someone to get in a company, then once you are in you can slack off and be lazy there–believe me, I’ve seen it–spending more time on your cell or watching TV or snoozing at work … yepper … The American Dream is to sleep your life away … and let the others do the work …Just ask Obama, lip service is all you are going to get; or ask Boehner and Biden–they mopped a few floors, too!
    PS. I’m going to paint my face brown, go to UD for a masters in education, and get a DPS job as a teacher or principal … !!!
  20. David Lauri July 27, 2011 / 12:02 pm
    Gary, your comment about bonds makes me want to ask you, “Are you just an idiot or what?
     
    Your comment about painting your face brown prompts me to say that whether or not you are an idiot, you’re certainly offensive.
  21. Gary July 27, 2011 / 1:34 pm
    Thanks DL, it’s nice to know folks are listening to me!  :-)  But, I will do some research on bonds; and why doesn’t someone else Snope UD to see if they really pass Negros on purpose, then we’ll chat again …
  22. Bob July 27, 2011 / 1:35 pm
    Just because a parent can’t read or write well doesn’t mean that the child is not learning well from a charter school.  I’ve dealt with charter schools and those kids tend to be more disciplined than DPS students.  The thing is charter schools must perform or risk losing their funding.  Public schools don’t necessarily have to account for anything.  Having said that, if the Governor cuts oversight of charter schools, the system that I just defended could decline rapidly.
  23. Bubba Jones July 27, 2011 / 2:31 pm
    Gary, your comment about bonds makes me want to ask you, “Are you just an idiot or what?” – David Lauri
     
    Hmmm… reminds me of the old saying “Better to stay quiet and be thought a fool than to speak (or, in this case type) and remove ALL doubt.”
     
    …you’re certainly offensive.” – David Lauri
     
    Should we really be offended by the ignorant?  Maybe if we ignore him he’ll just go away.  He was pretty quiet for a week or two.  I miss those times!!
  24. Dad July 27, 2011 / 2:42 pm
    Since this thread started about spelling, I must note that Gary wrote “Negros.”
     
  25. Bubba Jones July 27, 2011 / 3:04 pm
    LMAO, Dad!!!  Good catch!!  You’re showing your age though (and the era in which you were an up and coming newsman) by catching that since that’s not a word that we see in print very often now.
     
    At least he didn’t call them “coloreds”!!
  26. Gary July 27, 2011 / 3:33 pm
    Okay already, I’m used to a Spellchecker, but I do proofread, and I’m not perfect, either is a Spellchecker …
    Negroes have big toes … LOL
    Who will dispel, or validate that UD actually participates in unethical albeit illegal activity for passing Black men who who fail but need a masters in education?
    We all are differnt, each one of us here writes differently and consistently, sorry to offend you … I’ll go away for a while …
    You say tomato, I say tomata, and even Bush or some big wig spelled it wrong, too … (tomatoes).
    PS. At least we’re having some fun … Now I hear you don’t need two spaces after a period anymore, or you can skip a space before an exclamation mark !  I will not do that!
    There is only one correct to write, and play music, period, no exceptions!
  27. Charterschoolwatchdog July 27, 2011 / 8:45 pm
    Of greater interest is the fact the “Mr. Matt,” is in fact Murat Sagnak, the former principal at Horizon Denison Middle School Cleveland, who in his wake left behind 2 discrimination lawsuits, a Department of Labor investigation, and a lawsuit filed by a student when Sagnak hit her with his vehicle.
    One might ask why Sagnak is not using his legal name, Murat Sagnak, instead of his alias Matt. It would seem that a “Principal,” or for that matter, any school official should be legally required to disclose his real identity. Perhaps it is because anyone can look up Sagnak’s Ohio Department of Education licensure information and find that he currently has nothing more than an expired one-year administrator’s license.
    It would seem that his grammar and spelling issues are the very least of his problems.
    For more on Sagnak and his shenanigans, visit http://charterschoolwatchdog.com.
  28. Joe Lacey July 28, 2011 / 9:04 am
    Gerald, I was hired by the county auditor’s office because I am a certified public accountant with many years experience in private practice.  Thanks for asking.
  29. Hall July 28, 2011 / 10:40 am
    The use of the name “Mr Matt” didn’t surprise me one bit and my first thought was it was done to hide any ‘foreign’ sounding name. Fact is, a lot of people are bigots when it comes to this…. Kinda reminds me of “Gangs of New York” and how the “natives” treated anyone who wasn’t born in the US. I guess it rubs me the wrong way ’cause my parents are immigrants to the US. Difference is, they’re white and spoke English. 
  30. Gary July 28, 2011 / 11:09 am
    Mr Matt, go the heck back to Cleveland, will you!  And Deb Lieberman, please give Dan Foley his job back as Montgomery County Commission President–you are doing a lousy job, too!  So many crooks in high places these days, it’s sad!  I hate UD, too!  Pompous people everywhere … !!!
  31. Gary September 1, 2011 / 7:48 pm
    Irony alert still on … OMG!  David, please get a spellchecker!
    Joe Lacey, Aren’t you the guy who sits on the Board of Education?  I sometimes watch the BOEducation’s meetings, too; where the big dude won’t ever shut up!  :-(  However, the Superintendent is doing a great job!
    Horizon Science Academy is now sending out fliers; hope they have English classes …

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