After weeks of silence and years spent in lockstep with wealthy special interests, State. Sen. Jeff Brandes is attempting to rewrite his record of supporting for-profit charter school management companies. Brandes is at the center of the ongoing fraud and abuse scandal that is now dominating local headlines in Pinellas County. He has accepted thousands of dollars from the industry and its executives, voted on their behalf, and owes real answers to his constituents.
Here are five key questions that Senator Brandes must answer:
Senator Brandes, in light of deteriorating for-profit schools run by “pillaging” management companies, do you still support state funding – with little oversight – for these for-profit companies?
Senator, you have gladly accepted thousands of dollars from the for-profit school industry and its executives. Do you think these companies have undue influence over legislators like yourself?
You’ve taken several votes in support of easing regulation on for-profit charter companies. Will you promise to stand up for all of the families and children in this room in the future and take action now to ensure proper oversight of our schools?
Senator, why has it taken you so long to speak out on this issue of critical importance to our area?
After Newpoint Education Partners had been indicted on charges of grand theft, money laundering and aggravated white collar crime, can taxpayers really trust these organizations to oversee our schools?
We will be waiting, Senator.