FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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-- Hint: They aren't your local teachers, nurses and social workers
-- New initiative will expose the CEOs who take over public services and divert millions of tax dollars out of communities and into their pockets
(Madison, WI) – The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) today launched "America's Highest Paid Government Workers," a new initiative that will expose the taxpayer-funded salaries of CEOs whose corporations make billions by taking control of public services.
"Time and again we're told that librarians, nurses and teachers are to blame for state and local budget problems," said Lisa Graves, Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy. "In reality, taxpayers are being duped by corporate CEOs and Wall Street banks that are siphoning money out of our communities for huge salaries and bonus packages."
You will not see this on Fox News. Over the next few weeks, CMD will be highlighting some of the CEOs who are living large off the taxpayer dime. The effort is part of our ongoing new project, OutsourcingAmericaExposed.org, which focuses on 12 firms doing the most to privatize public services.
Today, CMD puts the spotlight on Ron Packard, CEO of K12 Inc., America's highest paid teacher.
K12 Inc. is a publicly-traded (NYSE: LRN) for-profit, online education company headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. On its own and as a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), K12 Inc. has pushed a national agenda to replace bricks and mortar classrooms with computers and replace actual teachers with "virtual" ones. As K12 Inc. notes in its most recent 10-K, "most of (its) revenues depend on per pupil funding amounts and payment formulas" from government contracts for virtual public charter schools and "blended schools" (combining online with traditional instruction), among other products.
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 (10-K, p. 69). In other words, over 86 percent of the company's profits are due to taxpayers.
What does K12 Inc. do with all that money? According to new data, it does not educate children very well (only 27.7 percent of K12 Inc. online schools met state standards in 2010-2011, compared to 52 percent of public schools), but it does pay its CEO very well. From 2009-2013, Packard made over $19 million in compensation, and compensation to his top executives skyrocketed 96 percent in 2013. Thank you taxpayers!
Not bad for a novice "teacher" and former Goldman Sachs executive who started K12 Inc. with a $10 million investment from convicted junk-bond king Michael Milken (his boss at Knowledge Learning) and $30 million more from other Wall Street investors.
Learn more about K12 Inc. in the SourceWatch corporate profile.