Monday, December 2, 2013

The Mississippi Education Lobby: follow the money

 The old saying "follow the money" definitely holds true when discussing the education lobby in Mississippi, as it becomes apparent there is quite a bit of money at stake for these organizations.  Wonder why they fight reform efforts so hard?  Look at how much money is at stake in the diagram I created and posted below.  The diagram will show the relationships and money flowing between these groups.   

*All amounts of money are annual in nature and are not cumulative.  They are taken from each organization's most recent tax return.  The amounts you are reading are thus what they received in revenue for one year
*An attempt was made to show the links between organizations through individuals.  For example, Steve Williams moved from MDE to the Center for Education Innovation to lobbying for the Parents' Campaign.
*The NAACP and Southern Echo are not financially connected to these groups, but they inhabit the same education lobby universe. They are allies in the same efforts to stop charter schools and other reforms. 

Click on image to enlarge

*The Center for Education Innovation, formerly called the Mississippi Center for Education Innovation, realizes annual revenues of over $7 million. Board members and Executive Directors at times come from MDE. The current Executive Director is Rhea Williams-Bishop. She ran the Chidren’s Defense Fun Chapter in Mississippi prior to joining CEI. The Center pays her nearly $200,000 per year in salary and benefits. 4 people make over $100,000 per year in salary alone at CEI. Hank Bounds is the President of the Board of Trustees and has been for several years. CEI is a revolving door and slush fund for the educational establishment in Mississippi.

This is the web that seeks to stop charter schools from gaining a foothold in Mississippi. They travel along the same strands and help each other strengthen their web. They don’t mind donating money to The Cause nor do they mind providing foot soldiers when needed. True reform threatens their fat budgets and cozy little deals. These people fight as if their lives depend on it and to some extent, they do.


Anonymous said...

No surprises here for anyone who has wanted to see Mississippi off the bottom when it comes to education.
Education has been a " job" creator in MS when other businesses didn't exist.
Follow the money in IHL and the Junior and Community colleges as well.
We cannot take advantage of education reforms that have worked other states because too many depend on the status quo for their incomes.
Consolidation comes immediately to mind.
We dilute our limited resources and have too many institutions and bureaucracies for such a small population.
Follow the money when it comes to dependency on the state and federal government for incomes.
And, good luck keeping charters from becoming just another layer to an already dysfunctional system.

Anonymous said...

Yea yea yea, I think most around here are aware that you don't need to look far within our borders to know that the entire public education apparatus in our neck of the 3rd world here is a crock. Starts with having ELECTED school Superintendents and their hiring of cronies in the county school districts. The charter side is also in it for money, although I do agree that trying anything different at this point could not hurt. This is what happens when you live in a state with little to no real private sector economy, one that gets 50cents of every dollar from Washington DC. You end-up with a bunch of people who make the big bucks out of greasing the guvment skids to earn six figures. Sad, sadder than Feel Bryant's new solution to healthcare, giving away money to hospitals to placate them on Medicaid expansion.

Anonymous said...

Education is so political from the bottom to the top throughout the entire state. It flows from generation to generation, and through family to family. Of course any educator will deny that accusation. It has been that way for at least 60 years, and it will be difficult to break the chain. It includes teachers and administrators at all levels. Some might use the term clannish.

Anonymous said...

And you can hang the same albatross around the necks of the Planning and Development Districts. Follow the money indeed. But, if not for this awkward conglomeration of misspent millions, we would be just behind Mexico in the caste system.

Anonymous said...

These people all rake in the money, while kids don't even have textbooks for school.

Anonymous said...

And they're at the top of the whiney list about pay and benefits.

Anonymous said...

Connect the dots. Look at where the money comes from.

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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