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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Florida's education money laundering scheme

What would prevent a corporation from setting up dummy sub-par a for profit charter school in a strip mall and use all the money they would have paid in taxes to be diverted into their shadow charter organization?

As the money earmarked for the education of Florida's children is diverted for profit, the meager left-overs provide little capital to provide a quality education to unsuspecting students enrolled in their charter school. Each year the charter school will earn an F, as does well over 50 percent of charters in Florida. They will get more chances and more tax money like KIPP year after year. Their stockholders will give more donations to the super pac or donate directly to the politicians which gives them the power to perpetuate this government for sale to the highest bidder.

It is simply money laundering to avoid taxes in a state that has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the nation. It begs a larger question which should be addressed. If all these tax incentives diversions are so great, and supposed to lure corporations to move here, and improve the quality of education in Florida through "competition" and unequally applied "accountability", why aren't more high tech corporations moving to Florida?

It may have something to do with the statistics that indicate we are nearly last in many academic performance indicators such as NAEP, SAT and ACT scores. Additionally, other quality of life indicators include but are not limited to; Infant mortality, child poverty, violent crime, and homelessness do not paint a pleasant image of the state.

It's okay for vacation, but I wouldn't want to raise my kids here.

I think it is safe to say that Oracle, Microsoft and Intel will not be moving to this academic Mecca anytime soon. These corporations will stay in states that have triple or quadurple our corporate tax rate. Their behavior speaks volumes of what well educated, intelligent professionals who are on the cutting edge of innovation value in their community.

Watch out institutions of higher ed. You are next. Can't you see it coming? Look at all these online for profit schools. They remind me of an era when you could get a degree through mail order correspondence courses. This was pervasive from the late 1800's to the 2nd world war. They were as ubiquitous as the Sears Roebuck Catalog. They were a joke then, and society knew it.

Everyone quickly figured out that you could get someone to fill out the books for you just as you can get anyone to sit in front of a PC and fill the screen. We know it is happening but we choose not to think about it or, were we wiser then? Is history repeating itself?

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