Education Privatizers have made a private market out of the public sector.
In tax year 2016, the top 10 salaries from among LAUSD’s 37 Charter Management Organizations/Groups (CMO/Gs) totaled $3.4 million dollars:
Private-industry salaries are generated for top execs, which are justified by branding the remade sector as now “business”. From nowhere these usurpers have constituted a whole new economy, transforming what was formerly the people’s prerogative educating human beings and citizens, into a private dynamo generating paper-profit simply by transferring public tax dollars to private coffers.
The exercise enriches an elite few, even while being justified by metrics selected to illuminate precisely the subpopulation cherry-picked. Nice work if you can get it; a lucrative sector to bolster.
Elsewhere it was noted that LAUSD has chartered 275 schools, nearly 2/3 of which (61%) are run by the following 37 CMO/Gs:
The names and salaries (where existent) of Charter CMO/G board members were abstracted from each of their most recent IRS 990 Form for Non-profits. Most postings were late of 2016, but some dated to 2015.
It is interesting to note the names of board members not on salary too, and these follow at the bottom. Often though not always, these individuals come with deep bank accounts and broad ideologies linked to privatization generally or this charter chain specifically. A few individuals are associated with more than one CMO/G.
But observing the paid salaries associated with certain individuals is eye-popping. Over a half-million laid out for Eli Broad-bestie, MBA Dan Katzir. His bio mentions over two decades of “K12 leadership” in service of Mr. Broad’s privatization agenda, but no discussion there of any actual teaching.
Next up begs the question of integrity in LAUSD’s board district 5 school board race, a seat vacated by Ref Rodriguez, the co-Founder of CMO/G’s Partnership For Uplifting Communities. In the wake of Rodriguez’ charter-ties and associated felony counts, the undisputed and irreproachable front-runner Jackie Goldberg’s opponent, insisted charter money would find no place in her campaign. Yet it is rife with political machine donations and influence peddling, chief among them support from Dixon Slingerland, LAUSD’s CMO/G’s second-highest grossing executive. In the context of a third of a million dollars annually, the primary’s maximum contribution is negligible, evidently inadequate to evoke compliance with any such nicety as campaign promises or indeed restrain a second such tainted donation in his minor child’s name, no less. Neither donations nor campaign fundraisers were ever returned or repudiated, consistent with the corrupting and radical influence of charter school excess [VOTE GOLDBERG FOR FAIRNESS IN LAUSD5 ON MAY 14, 2019].
Close behind is the westside agiteur Marco Petruzzi, President and CEO of the shamefully segregated national Green Dot Charter Chain. Because less-senior employees may be less culpable for CMO/G corruption, only the top-50 names of charter executives are linked with their salaries below, but salaries and title are all associated with their CMO/G: CMO Top 50 Salaries
All told, $32.5 million was spent in aggregate on executive salaries. Nearly $5m (range: $146K to $533K) was to CEOs alone. In contrast, LAUSD spent $350,000 + unknown benefits, on its “CEO”, Superintendent Austin Beutner, a man as naïve as Katzir to the classroom, but bristling with “leadership skills”: CMO Salaries by positionAt least. These 501c3’s may represent just the tip of the Non-profit iceberg. In addition to each CMO/G’s “main” 501c3, several groups have multiple 501c3’s setup as a “facilities management” group, sometimes as an “operations group”, sometimes as a “booster group” or “foundation”. In collecting all Director’s names of interest, when there were multiple 501c3’s, regardless of whether both 990s was in the same year or successive years, the last year of both were abstracted. If a Director’s salary was listed on two same-year 990s, it was counted just once. If a Director’s salary was listed in two successive years, only the most recent salary, was abstracted.
Elsewhere these exorbitant salaries have been expressed as a function of per pupil payment according to the CMO/G’s enrollment. This metric reflects at least as much about the size of the CMO/G as about salary. And considering that the head of any entity as complex as a school system interacts not with its constituent pupils so much as administrators and deans of pupils, its validity may be limited. Nevertheless it is another way of thinking about salary that others have used, so the calculation appears below for each CMO/G. These figures are based on State enrollment figures for 2016-17 regardless of whether the abstracted salary was from IRS 2016 or 2015 Forms. The enrollment figures are not, therefore, accurate for all given salaries. And it turns out the difference may be significant given the large drop in enrollment from 2016-17 to 2017-18. These fluctuations are also listed; enrollment loss greater than 45% is highlighted in red: CMO salaries and pp and enrollment loss 2016
Overall, enrollment in LAUSD’s 37 CMO/Gs dropped 16.5% between 2016-17 and 2017-18, from a total of 93,842 to 78,315. In terms of CMO/Gs, over 80% of them (n=30) lost enrollment, and 8 of these by more than 45%.
The fabled charter waitlists of old seem harder than ever to credit even while executive salaries of shriveling schools climb skyward. No wonder the class sizes of co-locating charter schools appear so low – initially liberal enrollment estimates have plummeted while the prop 39 space claimed goes unadjusted. Indeed co-locating charters have disproportionately many classrooms to fill, and at a fraction the rate of regular district schools. Everyone, except the charter executives, pays a premium for applying inappropriate market models to Education. Especially the children.
The 638 board members of LAUSD’s 37 CMO/G’s are listed. 202 are paid salary and 452 are not; some serve both ways and/or on different, sometimes related boards. Imagine if these resources were devoted to the Commons and not firewalled fiefdoms: CMO BMs
For reference, the 2015 and/or 2016 board members of LAUSD’s 37 CMO/Gs: CMO BM by CMO
Data are from the LAUSD Charter School Division and CALPADS UPC files