FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: “Speaker of the House J.D Mesnard Defends Corrupt Charter School System, Won’t Protect Tax Payer Dollars”

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PHOENIX, AZ – While charter school system corruption may be news to the public, it is clear our elected officials have known about the issue for quite some time. In March, Speaker of the House J.D. Mesnard spoke with 12 News reporter Joe Dana, and defended those profiting off of hard-working Arizonans tax-dollars, “charter school holders have to…put themselves on the line.”

It’s no wonder the five Democratic bills introduced to bring more transparency and accountability were never heard in the State House of Representatives. Speaker Mesnard has direct control over which bills are heard in committee. Instead of allowing charter school accountability legislation to be heard, Mesnard allowed his buddy Rep. Eddie Farnsworth to get rich off of taxpayers.

“Charter School CEO’s, which includes members of our legislature, are gambling with taxpayer money. They’re not putting themselves on the line, they’re putting taxpayers on the line,” said ADLCC Executive Director Charlie Fisher.

“We have seen elected officials put their bottom line first; by writing laws that benefit them, not our community. Speaker Mesnard has shown that he’s more interested in enriching his buddies in the legislature than protecting taxpayer dollars and protecting students in Arizona,” added Charlie Fisher.

It has been made clear once again that the Republican majority party only has their bottom line in mind at the legislature, not the interest of hard-working Arizonans and children.

Charter School Reform Bills introduced in the House:

  • HB 2358: charter school board members; conflicts
  • HB 2364: charter schools; procurement requirements.
  • HB 2365: charter school governance; meetings; records.
  • HB 2141: charter schools; lunches; national acts.
  • HB 2142: charter schools; closure; property transfer.

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Media Coverage:

AZCentral: Arizona Rep. Eddie Farnsworth is a charter school millionaire – and you helped pay for it”

By: Laurie Roberts

Date: 9/11/2018

Key Points:

“Sweet plan. Sickeningly so, when you consider that Farnsworth is making his millions off of tax money intended to be used to educate Arizona children.”

“Craig Harris has spent all year reporting on operators who are getting rich – or at least, making a tidy pile of cash – off publicly funded charter schools, aided by laughable state laws that require hardly any oversight or accountability.”

the Republic’s Harris reports that when the sale closes, taxpayers will have paid twice for the same schools – once to essentially pay the mortgage on the Farnsworth-owned buildings and now to assume more debt in order to buy the buildings.”

“Also outrageous: Gov. Doug Ducey and the Republican-run Legislature don’t see a problem.”