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Schools remain at risk long after Bennett gone


The recent articles regarding the tenure and actions of Tony Bennett clearly provide the basis from which one can understand the animus and distrust of educators across Indiana and beyond. But my guess is that Bennett didn't dream up the changes he advanced for Indiana schools.

Several brain trusts across the country write legislative proposals for legislators, programs for governors and action plans for state education leaders. And, special interests fund both the organizations and the political campaigns of those who advocate their thinking.

Bennett spent $1,866,743 on his campaign during 2012. And he lost. He received contributions of $65,000 from Christel DeHaan, $55,150 from Hoosiers for Economic Growth and $49,965 from the American Federation for Children Action Fund. Large contributions can conflict their recipients.

My concern is that, while Bennett is gone, the real problem remains. Those millions of campaign dollars remain available to elect candidates who will further the charter school cause with special rules and considerations. I hope that Bennett understands that some contributions came at a high cost to him and to us. Other elected officials should remind themselves of that as well.

ROGER THORNTON Retired public school superintendent Bluffton