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Update: Franklin Superintendent scrubs website, now under investigation

Yesterday, we told you about how Franklin City Schools Superintendent Arnol Elam engaged his office in illegal political activity. He sent home a letter with kids urging parents to “join me in an active campaign to ensure that Gov. Kasich and any legislator who supports him are not re-elected.” He also posted the letter on the school’s website.

You might notice that the letter that now appears on the website doesn’t contain the political speech listed above. That’s because Elam scrubbed the site and changed the letter. Fortunately, we saved a screen shot of the original, which can be viewed here. We have also obtained an original copy of the letter that was actually sent home with children.


Further, the Warren County prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into the activity.

The Warren County prosecutor said Thursday his office has opened an investigation into allegations the Franklin City Schools District used school resources to engage in impermissible political activities.

Prosecutor David Fornshell announced the investigation two days after Franklin Superintendent Arnol Elam sent a letter home to parents of the district’s 2,924 students urging them to join him “in an active campaign to ensure Gov. (John) Kasich and any legislator who supports him are not re-elected.” The letter also was posted on the school’s website, but an edited version appeared late Thursday afternoon with that statement deleted.

The superintendent said the letter was not intended to be political, though he could see how some might take it that way.

Yes, because there’s nothing political about sending kids home with a letter that urges parents to join in an “active campaign” against Kasich and legislators.

Also, right on cue, the Ohio Democratic Party is defending Elam’s use of school resources to further his political agenda. Chairman Chris Redfern is actually attacking the prosecutor for doing his job.

Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern said in a statement, “It’s convenient Governor Kasich can call upon his contributors to launch a politically motivated witch hunt against those that have the nerve to speak out against the governor’s plan to decimate school funding to pay for a handout to the wealthy. It sends a disturbing message to the people of Ohio that Kasich’s friends might abuse government resources to punish this Superintendent who is simply standing up for local school funding that the governor has stripped away.”

It’s getting pretty deep over at ODP headquarters. A school superintendent misuses school resources and enlists kids in an attempted illegal political campaign, but Redfern is actually claiming that its the prosecutor who is abusing his office. Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised. We’ve told you over and over that Ohio Democrats think the rules just don’t apply to them.

It also bears repeating that the education funding figures that both Elam and Redfern are spouting are completely false.

Under Governor Kasich’s new school funding plan Ohio’s low-wealth and urban school districts receive more state aid than high wealth districts both as a portion of Ohio’s overall formula funding and also on a per-pupil basis. In fiscal year 2014, Ohio’s lowest-wealth districts would receive 155 precent of the state average per-pupil and 400 percent more than the highest-wealth districts. Ohio’s wealthiest school district by property value would receive just $110 per-pupil, while Ohio’s poorest district, Trumble Local in Athens County, would receive $7,678 per pupil in state aid.

$7,678 – that’s more per pupil than the 28 richest school districts – combined.

We aren’t surprised at all, however, given Ohio Democrat’s bold history of lying straight to Ohioans faces.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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