Fat cat corporate execs getting rich by sucking up taxpayer dollars: It’s one of the dirtiest little secrets of the mad rush to privatize essential public services and turn them over to giant Wall Street-backed corporations. Fortunately, the good folks at the Center for Media and Democracy are doing their best to expose the phenomenon and keep track of the nation’s mushrooming cadre of publicly-funded plutocrats.
The group has released a new report entitled Exposed: America’s Highest Paid Government Workers: They’re Not Who You Think They Are. Listed first among the six magnates profiled in the report is Ron Packard, CEO of the controversial K-12, Inc., whom the report describes as “America’s highest paid ‘teacher.'”
As readers of Sarah Ovaska’s numerous stories on the subject here at NC Policy Watch will recall, K-12 is the for-proft “virtual education” company that’s been doing its worst to worm its way into North Carolina’s public schools in recent years despite horrific reviews of its performance, business model and profiteering.
Here’s some of what the new CMD report has to say about Packard and his company:
“In 2013, K12 Inc. took in $848.2 million from its business, with $730.8 million coming from its ‘managed public schools’ and thus the U.S. taxpayer. In other words, more than 86 percent of the company’s profits are due to taxpayer funds siphoned away from traditional schools and sent to cyber schools.1
What does K12 Inc. do with all that money? According to new data, it does not educate children very well; only 28 percent of K12 Inc. online schools met state standards in 2010-2011, compared to 52 percent of public schools. However, K12 Inc. does pay its executives very well. From 2009-2013, Packard made more than $19 million in compensation. Compensation to his top executives skyrocketed from $10.8 million in 2012 to $21.3 million in 2013 or 96 percent.”
Pretty amazing, huh? Now we know why K-12 has been pushing so hard (and even more about why DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos’ plan to sell off the state’s award-winning Medicaid program, Community Care NC, is so pernicious).
Read the entire CMD report by clicking here.