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Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:14 AM

Remember this 2010 order for 27 combat-ready shotguns for the Department of Education?

When Arne Duncan was asked about why the department needed them, he said to ask his Inspector General's office. The whole thing was strange.

Here is the 2010 coverage from WLS-TV in Chicago. There is an interesting video at the link as well as the article.

Unusual gun order headed to Chicago

According to the bid solicitation, the department is purchasing 27 Remington Model 870 pump-action shotguns with 14-inch modified choke barrels. They are custom-made for law enforcement and have shorter barrels than required for purchase by private citizens.

The Remington shotgun being purchased by the education department is intended to replace an older, malfunctioning arsenal, according to officials, and would have to be compatible with existing combat armor.

The I-Team called US Education Secretary Arne Duncan Thursday afternoon to find out why his inspector general's office requires guns at all. Duncan, who previously ran the Chicago Public Schools, referred questions to the inspector general's office.

In an e-mail, a spokesperson told the I-Team that their special agents work waste and fraud cases involving education funds and programs, and they have full law enforcement authority and training, and they sometimes conduct search warrants and make arrests.


Here is more about that order from McClatchy in 2010.

Agency places shotgun order FBI? No, Education Department

WASHINGTON — Schools may be gun-free zones, but the U.S. Department of Education is locked and loaded.

The agency put in an order this month for 27 new short-barreled shotguns to replace some of its aging arsenal.

...""Major (inspectors general) not only perform audits and review the efficiency of federal programs, they also conduct extensive criminal investigations," said Paul Feeney, a spokesman for the inspector general at the Department of Agriculture. "Many people may not be aware of the dangerous circumstances that agents may encounter."

.."More than just eagle-eyed numbers crunchers poring over records for waste and fraud involving federal tax dollars, special agents for the inspectors general actually hit the streets to round up the bad guys.


I have some ideas for the Department of Education about some fraud they might start addressing. They won't even need shotguns, just some ethics and common sense.

They can read the blogs and search online for how their policies are giving millions to charter schools and vouchers that are unregulated and have no oversight. They are using money from taxpayers that should go to public education.

Here are examples of several who defrauded to the tune of millions of dollars.

Example of an FBI investigation:

Philadelphia charter school mogul Dorothy June Hairston Brown was charged Tuesday -- along with four colleagues -- with defrauding three charter schools of more than $6.5 million in tax dollars.

Brown and her executives were indicted on 62 counts of wire fraud, obstruction of justice and witness tampering. She had earned praise for student test scores and had a reputation for claiming large salaries and filing suits against parents who questioned her, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Brown founded three Philadelphia charter schools: the Laboratory, Ad Prima and Planet Abacus. She also had a hand in creating the Agora Cyber Charter School, which offers online lessons to students across the state. Brown was reportedly paid $150,000 for working 30 hours weekly at Laboratory and $115,904 for a single week at Ad Prima.


There are more listed here that are wasting public money.

NYT's investigative article about Imagine Charter Schools and Dennis Bakke.

The company (NYSE: EPR) purchased five new charter schools from Imagine Schools Inc. of Arlington, Va., at a cost of $44 million and agreed to finance expansion of two others at a cost of $4 million. Entertainment Properties Trust, which is based in Kansas City, will lease the five new schools back to Imagine Schools, a leading operator of public charter schools.

Entertainment Properties Trust’s portfolio now includes 27 charter schools that Imagine Schools operates in nine states and the District of Columbia.


And a paragraph about some Philly charter schools.

City Controller Alan Butkovitz yesterday blasted the Philadelphia School District's Charter School Office for failing "to monitor charter schools," which spend millions in taxpayers' dollars.

Butkovitz released a scathing report citing financial mismanagement, excessive executive salaries and "opportunities for possible fraud" at 13 charter schools his office investigated over the last 14 months.

"Many charter schools, through leasing agreements and associated nonprofits, are transferring taxpayer-funded assets to nonprofits that are not accountable to the school district," the report said in one of its key findings.


I find it questionable that the Department of Education needs those "combat-ready" shotguns.

Let them investigate the loss of public money flowing through greedy hands of charter management schools. They don't need guns for that.



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Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply Remember this 2010 order for 27 combat-ready shotguns for the Department of Education? (Original post)
madfloridian Jan 2013 OP
ProgressiveProfessor Jan 2013 #1
hack89 Jan 2013 #2
madfloridian Jan 2013 #3
hack89 Jan 2013 #4
madfloridian Jan 2013 #5
hack89 Jan 2013 #6
madfloridian Jan 2013 #7
hack89 Jan 2013 #8
madfloridian Jan 2013 #9
hack89 Jan 2013 #10
madfloridian Jan 2013 #11
hack89 Jan 2013 #13
duffyduff Jan 2013 #20
hack89 Jan 2013 #24
msanthrope Jan 2013 #23
duffyduff Jan 2013 #19
msanthrope Jan 2013 #21
madfloridian Jan 2013 #25
msanthrope Jan 2013 #26
madfloridian Jan 2013 #28
msanthrope Jan 2013 #29
madfloridian Jan 2013 #31
msanthrope Jan 2013 #35
duffyduff Jan 2013 #18
hack89 Jan 2013 #22
madfloridian Jan 2013 #27
hack89 Jan 2013 #30
msanthrope Jan 2013 #33
msanthrope Jan 2013 #32
madfloridian Jan 2013 #34
duffyduff Jan 2013 #17
Bucky Jan 2013 #12
Recursion Jan 2013 #14
madfloridian Jan 2013 #15
madfloridian Jan 2013 #16
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #36
madfloridian Jan 2013 #37

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:08 AM

1. Few people realize how many different groups of LEOs are scattered throughout the executive branch

and they are all considered Federal LEOs with arrest authority and weapons.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:39 AM

2. Financial aid fraud is a huge business

that frequently involves organized crime. Dept of Education has dedicated federal law enforcement officers to investigate such crime.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:22 PM

3. What about the CMOs that are taking taxpayer millions?

Arne's policy is more charter schools. Closing public schools, more charters. Turning public schools around into charters which have no oversight of their finances.

How did it become education policy to allow private companies to get public money and not be regulated?

Could it be because the billionaires and millionaires getting that public money are ignored....while all too often the students are harassed?

If they have their weapons to go after financial aid fraud, why not use legal weapons to go after greedy companies trying to profit off public education?



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Response to madfloridian (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:01 PM

4. My state does charter schools the right way

they are public schools tightly regulated by the state. They have to meet the same standards as every other school and the state does not hesitate to shut down poor performing school.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:00 PM

6. Central Falls was a unique case

in any case, charter schools are working well and have a lot of public support.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:02 PM

7. That is not really true.

They are taking money from public schools, and their overall record is no better.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:22 PM

8. We have some extraordinarily lousy public schools in RI

the status quo is no longer acceptable. There is a reason charters have so much public support. The state views them as incubators to try new ways forward - which is an excellent and needed attitude.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:40 PM

9. Reformers use "status quo" to refer to public education.

The plan is to turn it over to private companies to work their magic.

"new ways forward"...another phrase to refer to privatizing education.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:43 PM

10. In RI charter schools are public schools

they are run by the school districts. And they are working. And we will have more of them because the old methods have failed us.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:55 PM

11. Actually the NLRB just declared them private schools.

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/madfloridian/8522

"The National Labor Relations Board gives its verdict: charter schools are NOT public schools!

Teachers at a Chicago charter school are now subject to private-sector labor laws, rather than state laws governing public workers. The move could impact how public schools are run down the road.

The ruling, made by the National Labor Relations Board last month, said the Chicago Math and Science Academy is a “private entity” and therefore covered under the federal law governing the private sector.

The decision overrules a vote taken by teachers last year to form a union in accordance with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act. At the time, two-thirds of teachers at the school approved the union and it became official under state law.

...“This case was really about whether you organize via one method or another,” said Andrew Broy, director of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools. “It wasn’t about you can organize at all, whether you can bust unions, or anything like that.”

That's a national board, so some states may need to rethink.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 04:02 PM

13. We will see how it impacts RI

I don't think it will bother people too much - they just want good educations for their kids.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:16 PM

20. Private schools and charters aren't better.

That's always been a pack of lies by privatizers.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:28 PM

24. Some of the highest ranked schools in RI are charter schools.

perhaps we have better laws then other states. The top schools in the state are private - hands down.

My kids go to public school - 5th ranked HS in the state. So there are good public schools.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:25 PM

23. This claim regarding the NLRB was completely debunked on this thread---

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022121286

I find that with most 'education' threads that rely on blogposts as sources, a quick read of the actual court or board decision tends to disprove the claims put forth.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:15 PM

19. Yep. I have been saying this all the time.

Charter school/privatization peddlers tried the "public school" nonsense, but charters are NOT public schools, and they will NEVER be public schools, for there is much more to being a public school than taking taxpayer money.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:22 PM

21. Completely debunked on this thread where I took you to task for not reading the decision itself.....

The NLRB has not declared public charter schools private entities. It declined to find that a private non-profit is a governmental entity. I took you task on that thread because the first sentence of the decision itself completely debunked your claim.

Here is the post where your claim is debunked:



The reporter who wrote the article you cited is an idiot. Both of your links lead back to the same
reporter, who apparently has a great deal of trouble with reading comprehension.

The NLRB did not find that the school itself---Chicago Math and Science Academy-- was a private entity. The non-profit contracted to run it, CMSA, is a private entity, and thus the teachers must organize under federal, not state law. This distinction is important, and underscores the problem of relying on an education reporter and a music teacher for legal analysis.



The issue in this case is whether a private, nonprofit
corporation that established and operates a public charter
school in Chicago, Illinois, is exempt from our jurisdiction
because assertedly it is a political subdivision of the
State of Illinois within the meaning of Section 2(2) of the
National Labor Relations Act.1 The union that seeks to
represent teachers employed at the school—under Illinois
law—argues that the Board lacks jurisdiction. In contrast,
the nonprofit corporation itself has filed an election
petition with the Board and argues that the Act does apply.
http://www.nlrb.gov/case/13-RM-001768


Private non-profits should not be recognized as governmental entities as a general rule, even when contracted to run public services, such as a public school-- the NLRB decision is exhaustive in its analysis.

A suggestion--if you are going to report on a legal decision, then 1) read it, and 2) give a direct link to it.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2127231



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Response to msanthrope (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:05 PM

25. Only debunked in your own mind.

Charter schools started out with a bang, loudly proclaiming they were public schools and entitled to public taxpayer money. Then when the teachers tried to unionize, they claim to be private.

They can not have it both ways.

I believe you spend your days trying to find ways to discredit everything I write.

That is your problem, not mine.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:09 PM

26. The first sentence of the actual decision, which you failed to post, debunks you.

The school in question did not claim to be 'private.' The non-profit corporation that was contracted to run the school by the government is private.

That's three separate entities, madfloridian, which you seem to be conflating. Again, I suggest you read and post from the actual decision.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:12 PM

28. Yes, they are to get public money but not follow their rules. Not allow unions?

Isn't that what I said?

Do you ever get tired?

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:23 PM

29. Um, no--unions are allowed, as the decision CLEARLY states. I mean, I think it might help if you

read the decision.

Wait a second....do you not understand that unionizing would have to take place under federal law, pursuant to the decision, and not state law?

That was one of the major points of the decision.

Again, perhaps if you read the decision, it might help you focus your arguments.


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Response to msanthrope (Reply #29)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:29 PM

31. That was a question, not a statement on my part.

There was a question mark after it.

The wavering of the charter schools about being called public or private has in fact depended a lot on whether their teachers were attempting to unionize. I and others here have written about this a lot.

They want the money from taxpayers by being called a public school, but they don't want the regulations and other stuff that goes with it. Thus they have called themselves private in nature.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:58 PM

35. Perhaps if you read the decision you are opining on, you would have an answer.

If I may ask, and I mean this in all seriousness--

How would you grade a student of yours who read blogposts about a legal decision, but never actually read the decision?

How well would a essay on Roe v. Wade turn out if the student only relied on blogs, and didn't bother to read the ruling?

This NLRB decision is worth reading, as are the amici.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:14 PM

18. No, they aren't.

There is more to being a public school than taking taxpayer money.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:24 PM

22. They are under the control of the local school districts

besides the fact that the law specifically says they are public schools.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:09 PM

27. No, that is wrong.

The charter schools in our area are NOT under control of the district. In fact the school board often has words with them.

Here you go. A charter sends out a letter to a kid's parents telling them he does not meet the criteria to be at their school. A local school board member calls them out.

FL school board member demands that charters account for kids sent back to public schools.

"School Board member Frank O’Reilly wants district official to start tracking how many students are transferred from charter schools to public schools as a result of their grades, social economic status or behavioral issues. During a work session this morning, O’Reilly read a letter sent by Harold Maready, superintendent of McKeel charter schools, to a parent about their third grader who flunked the FCAT.

“Your child does not meet the criteria to be a McKeel student,” O’Reilly read.

If public schools were to reject students based on their academic performance, then they could be A schools, too, O’Reilly said.

“We must take every child that comes through that door whether we like it or not,” O’Reilly said. ‘‘That is a public school paid by taxpayers’ dollars, and I like to remind Mr. Maready of that.”

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:29 PM

30. RI does things differently. nt

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:46 PM

33. I have the Florida staute which indicates local school board approval and accountability thereto:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=1000-1099/1002/Sections/1002.33.html

Section (3) outlines the school board approval process. Accountability sections follow.

FYI--I agree with the tracking that the school board member wishes to perform.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:38 PM

32. "All charter schools in Florida are public schools." The statute, outling school board approval and

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:50 PM

34. Yes, they ARE called public schools.

They are free to call them whatever they wish.

There is a city for example which chose to make their system charter schools. There are many battles between this city and the other districts which are traditional public schools over money. The charters keep getting more, filing lawsuits to get more....thus costing the public schools money they do not have for lawyers.

There are also the other charter schools like the one I just wrote about, which openly send home letters telling parents they won't accept their children. They get public money also, but they act like private schools.

"A rose by any other name...."

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Response to hack89 (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:13 PM

17. They aren't public schools. They are private schools that get public money.

There is NO such thing as a "public" charter school.

I doubt they have to meet the same standards as a real public school; the whole point of charters is not to have to follow the tight regulations involved with public schools.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:59 PM

12. Maybe it was for a grant from some community college to teach duck hunting.

And you need pump action instead of breech loaders, you know, in case the ducks get mad and turn on you in force.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 04:09 PM

14. Every executive department has police of some sort

and, in the way of things, they need guns

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Response to Recursion (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:01 PM

15. Of course they do.

What can I say to that?

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:10 PM

16. More on money disappeared through schools not being overseen.

http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_hillsborough/at-jones-academy-officially-closed-letter-emailed-to-parents-faculty

"At a board meeting last Thursday, parents accused board members of financial mismanagement that drove the school into more than $100,000 worth of debt.

"It all comes down to not knowing how to balance a checkbook," said parent Dino Scanio.

Parents asked where all the school's money went only to be told all their questions would be addressed in an email sent out Monday. No email was ever sent.

Teachers are also owed money after money was deducted from their paychecks for health insurance even though the board terminated their insurance without telling them. Teacher Monnie So told ABC Action News Tuesday night the school owes her $623 dollars for the money she thought was going toward coverage. That number does not factor in the money she has spent out-of-pocket to pay for doctor visits and medication.

Read more: http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_hillsborough/at-jones-academy-officially-closed-letter-emailed-to-parents-faculty#ixzz2If84QeX0

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:02 PM

36. That's nothing compared to DHS ordering hundreds of millions of hollow-point rounds. n/t

 

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #36)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:10 PM

37. I saw that. Those rounds were ordered for immigration control, weren't they?

Seems like overdoing everything to me.

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