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Brennan plans tutoring centers

Ohanian Comments: The profiteers circle. A lot of [public] money has ended up in Brennan's pocket. His White Hat Management runs most of Ohio's charter schools. Surely it's time for an update on Akron Beacon Journal reporters Dennis J. Willard and Doug Oplinger's 2000 series on who facilitated Ohio's sharp increase in aid to private schools and sudden expansion of vouchers and charter schools while the public school system was known to be one of the most poorly funded in the country.

Doug Oplinger and Dennis J. Willard, "Voucher System Falls Far Short of Goals," Akron Beacon Journal, 14 December 1999, p. A-1; Dennis J. Willard and Doug Oplinger, "Voucher Plan Leaves Long List of Broken Vows," Akron Beacon Journal, 14 December 1999; and idem, "School Battle Eludes Voters, Takes Its Cues from Coalitions," Akron Beacon Journal, 15 December 1999.

Here's a comment on what the reporters uncovered:

While the Beacon Journal charges that cooperation between the Catholic Church and holders of public office went beyond an acceptable political response to a valued voting constituency, its criticism of the role of the Church paled in comparison to the evidence it uncovered of cronyism and quid pro quo payoffs to campaign contributors. The individual who has reaped the largest financial benefit from voucher and charter legislation in Ohio is an Akron entrepreneur named David Brennan, whose company runs 11 schools that enroll 3,267 students and is projected to take in $16 million for the 1999-2000 academic year. Brennan made numerous significant political contributions to those who could advance his financial interests and later hired as his lobbyist the governor's assistant who had been most closely involved with the voucher issue and who had resigned from the governor's office just four days before Brennan hired him. Brennan's schools were created expressly to take advantage of the voucher program he had lobbied for. According to independent state evaluations, they have performed more poorly than other private schools in the program and more poorly than the public schools.

Sheila Suess Kennedy
Privatizing Education: The Politics of Vouchers
Phi Delta Kappan, February 2001


Intrepid Ohio homeschooling parents who care about where public monies go (and also care about monies drained from public schools) report that White Hat had 31 Ohio schools in operation in 04-05. The state paid them $108,976,144.28 for 15,673 students. Their enrollment grew by 20.6% from 03-04, yet the funding grew by 32.4%, beating inflation by about 3 times over. This is before the federal numbers are in, of course.

Oh, by the way, David Brennan was the top contributor among Bush fund-raisers in the 2004 election cycle.

Akron businessman David Brennan's White Hat Management will open a nationwide chain of tutoring centers, the company said Tuesday.

Brilliant Learning Centers plans to open the first facility in July at 17 N. Hawkins Ave. in the Wallhaven area of West Akron, the company said.

White Hat is a for-profit company Brennan founded. It is the largest operator of publicly funded charter schools in Ohio and says it is the fourth largest in the nation.

The company has operations in five states.

White Hat is establishing a number of education service companies, including a tutoring service that can receive federal money to serve children in public schools that fail to meet standards for academic progress.

Brilliant will offer tutoring, remedial classes, accelerated courses and enrichment programs for children age 4 through high school, the company said.

More information about Brilliant Learning Centers is available by calling 888-625-2999 or at www.iambrilliant.com.

— no author
Akron Beacon Journal


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