Since my last article on the possibility that two schools in tiny Dugger, Indiana may be closed soon by the Northeast School Corporation of Sullivan County, I have unearthed something shocking that residents, teachers, parents, and students should know, and it points to Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and brother and son of two past U.S. presidents.
The same year Pearson purchased Connections Academy (2011), Bennett’s education department signed a six-year contract with Pearson Education to deliver textbooks to Indiana schools and “Indiana awarded NCS Pearson a $224,720 contract to rewrite the state's teacher standards” to line up with new academic guidelines. Pearson, in turn, funded the broadcasting of Tony Bennett’s inaugural “State of Education” speech that was broadcasted on radio and TV stations across Indiana.
With a budget of $6.6 million in the 2011-2012 school year, the Rural Community Academy put $5 million of taxpayer money (see page 10 in PDF) into the hands of the pilot program run by Connections Academy and Ball State University (which, by the way, collects around $3 million yearly “sponsoring” charter schools in Indiana).
Connections Academy by law needed to use a brick-and-mortar Indiana charter school to first get state funding for its pilot program to enroll students across Indiana, and the Rural Community Academy was used. Indiana Connections Academy now has a nonprofit set up whose sole goal is to funnel money to the for-profit company ($4.5 million in 2010—see page 19 in PDF), and tax records are not yet available to show whether or not the rural school is still paying.