"The education industry represents, in our opinion, the final frontier of a number of sectors once under public control... represents the largest market opportunity... the K-12 market is the Big Enchilada." — Montgomery Securities prospectus quoted in Jonathan Kozol's "The Big Enchilada"
Howard Blume details how the filthy rich Judy Burton and Antony Ressler's corporate behemoth Alliance is on the verge of gobbling up beleaguered ICEF in Merger of 2 organizations would create California's largest charter school operation
No surprises there. That's what corporations do when they see their competitors floundering, they merge (a euphemism), moving closer towards monopoly status, and everyone except for the wealthy CMO executives and their vendors loose out.
Los Angeles' communities and taxpayers have but one question. "Where's the money Mike Piscal?" "Where did it all go?" ICEF's criminal squandering of millions of dollars makes the bureaucrat bullies of Beaudry look positively on the level. There needs to be a serious investigation of Piscal and his conies to see if funds were misappropriated.
I am a little surprised that Riorden and the poverty pimping plutocrats didn't give the CORO princess of of privatization, Caprice Young, more time to salvage ICEF's completely tarnished reputation. For years the Broad/Gates/Walton Triumvirate and the charter-voucher sycophants in the corporate media held ICEF up as one of the "models" public schools should seek to emulate. LAUSD is no stranger to fiscal mismanagement either, but I hope they don't follow ICEF's dubious accounting strategies. In LAUSD's case, at least we get to vote on their board, we don't get to vote for the vile hedge fund managers running Alliance or ICEF's boards. The list of Charter School Scandals increases exponentially by the day, but no one wants to discuss the elephant in the room outside of community activists, parents and schoolteachers.
Charter schools are publicly funded, but are privately operated by unelected boards, typically by corporations. Charters are free from nearly any rules or regulations and only have their charters revoked on the rare occasions they're exposed in the media. State Senator Liu's SB 433, which would require charters to follow public school rules in regard to suspension and expulsion of pupils, could go some way towards changing that.
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