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Thanks to politico.com for highlighting this shameful story.
Politicians in the Florida legislature love to regulate public schools, demanding accountability. They live to launch charters and vouchers that are deregulated, to prove that deregulation is a very good thing, except for public schools.
But now we learn that the politicians have been busy deregulating for-profit colleges while sweeping in campaign contributions from these institutions and their sponsors.
“The rules are different for for-profit colleges. Despite fraud lawsuits and government investigations involving for-profit colleges all over the country, Florida’s Legislature continues to encourage the industry’s growth while reducing quality standards and oversight. Florida’s attorney general has been less aggressive than some counterparts in pursuing the schools when they skirt laws involving the hundreds of millions they receive in state and federal money.
In one city, Homestead, a school owner gained enormous influence with the local government, working through the mayor, whose wife the owner secretly hired as a $5,000-a-month consultant. The Miami-Dade state attorney’s office looked into the connection but decided it was no crime.”
The groups with the biggest checkbook tend to set the agenda, said one critic.
Is this helping American education? Of course not. Is it helping students? Nope.