News Release from The Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy Of School Funding
contact William L. Phillis, 614-228-6540
Columbus, OH…The revelation that some of the board members of Horizon Science Academy and Noble Academy charter schools are not U.S. citizens is shocking to the members of the Steering Committee of the Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding. “The fact that public money and educational programming for American youth are being controlled by citizens of another country is contrary to the values held by citizens of the United States,” said William L. Phillis.
Americans value the right to have their public affairs managed by those representatives who are voted into office for that purpose. “It is a travesty that charter school laws in Ohio don’t require charter school board members to be citizens of the United States”, said Richard Murray, chairman of the Steering Committee of the Coalition. “State officials must be held accountable for the lack of accountability and transparency in the world of charter schools,” continued Murray.
The public common school system and democracy are inseparably linked. One will not work without the other. A high quality public common school system is necessary to guarantee the cherished liberties and the individual freedoms inherent in the constitutional bill of rights. But, the fundamental right to a high quality common school system must be nurtured and preserved at all cost.
The very soul of public education is found in each community by way of its elected board of education providing for the education of its youth. Board members must be citizens who are registered to vote.
“The fact that Horizon Science Academy and Noble Academy charter schools are associated with Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Muslim cleric, exiled in Saylorsburg, PA, should cause state officials to tighten up the regulations for all charter schools,” said William L. Phillis.
“There are at least six bills pending in the 130th General Assembly that would make charter schools accountable, but majority legislative leaders have stonewalled all of them,” Phillis said. “Transparency is so lacking that there is no state agency assigned to record the names and contact information of charter school board members. Citizens must rise up and demand that charter schools be regulated,” Phillis added.