Virtual School Meanderings

January 7, 2014

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Some time ago, I saw the following two entries in my RSS reader from Blog for Arizona.com.

  1. K12 Inc. spent $21.5 million on ads in 2012
  2. Your online charter school tax dollars at (political) work

These two entries were posted about half a year apart, but tell a similar story.  In the second entry, Dave Safier writes:

In Florida’s 2012 elections, K12 Inc. gave the maximum $500 donation to 47 legislative candidates. One was a Democrat, the other 46 were Republicans.

The online corporation got a good bang for its buck: 42 of the candidates it supported won.

Here’s why K12 Inc. was so focused on the Florida elections. It was recently being investigated by the Florida Department of Ed for using uncertified teachers, which is illegal in Florida, by having certified teachers pretending to to do the teaching. It never hurts to have 42 legislators on your side when you’re being investigated, right?

In the first entry, Safier writes:

USA Today has an article about the amount of money for-profit online schools spend on advertising to lure in new students.

The USA TODAY analysis finds that 10 of the largest for-profit operators have spent an estimated $94.4 million on ads since 2007. The largest, Virginia-based K12 Inc., has spent about $21.5 million in just the first eight months of 2012.

The story focuses on K12 Inc., which has about 275,000 students nationwide…

Keep in mind that one of the main sources of revenue for K12, Inc. is the full-time equivalent (FTE) funding that the company received for those 275,000 students enrolled in its cyber charter schools.  FTE funding is public funds or taxpayers’ money.  Essentially, your tax dollars at work…

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