Critics rap actions of Jeb Bush’s education foundation

Source: William March, Tampa Tribune, March 03, 2013

Lobbyists are not allowed to finance perks like trips for state officials, but those at the Foundation for Excellence in Education get around that ban by being registered to another foundation run by Jeb Bush.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush’s nonprofit, education reform foundation is taking heat for using donations from for-profit companies to lobby for state education laws that could benefit those companies….
Normally, it’s illegal for lobbyists or lobbying organizations to provide benefits such as free trips to Florida legislators or top executive branch officials.

But the Foundation for Excellence in Education escapes that prohibition because lobbyists on its staff are registered to another, closely related Bush foundation – even though the two share key staff members and even their Tallahassee address.

Among the corporate donors:
– Pearson, a $9 billion-a-year media conglomerate which has a $250 million, four-year contract to administer the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test. In the last few years, the company has been fined $14 million by the state for delayed test score results and criticized for its grading of writing tests.
– Amplify, the education division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which sells classroom and curriculum software.
– Charter Schools USA, a Fort Lauderdale-based for-profit company that manages charter schools under contract.
– IQity, which sells online learning materials.