Yesterday the Up North Progressive had the pleasure of eating lunch with a group of dedicated public school education professionals working at a juvenile detention program. While chatting over our turkey soup, pork fried rice, and pizza, a quick browse through the local headlines brought up the most wonderful news: Testimony from an attorney who had represented Grand Traverse Academy in the past that Steve Ingersoll had told the school board of the for-profit charter school, Grand Traverse Academy, he needed help from them reclassifying money he took from the for-profit charter school on their books because he couldn’t pay then back and pay the taxes on it. This excellent news had to be read twice it was that good, and then shared with the other teachers eating lunch.
The teachers had all heard of GTA, and some of them knew about the fraud trial. The Up North Progressive gave them a quick recap of the investigation, how taxpayer money had been shuffled around to make it disappear from the books and reappear in Ingersoll’s personal bank account for decades, and now testimony had been offered that he knew he was stealing money from GTA and even asked the board to cover it up for him. They were all shocked of course, because anyone working in public education knows how for-profit charter schools siphon money away from public schools leaving less for public schools to effectively educate, while people such as Steve Ingersoll treat our tax dollars like his personal bank.
The discussion shifted to how Ingersoll is an optometrist not an educator and how he used his for-profit charter schools to push his vision therapy, IVL, as an alternative to special education services and his claim that IVL cures ADHD and Autism. The special ed teacher sitting at the table looked up from their lunch and smiled, “We’ve had a couple of kids from GTA come here. They were not cured.”
Let Dr. Steve Ingersoll be the poster child for School Choice. He’s certainly earned it.