You have to give the group headed up by rabid tea partier Pasquale Battaglia credit; they are persistent. After having their request to charter their tea party charter school denied by Brighton Public Schools, they have turned their attention now to Whitmore Lake Public Schools.
The WLPS voted on October 26th to put out a call soliciting a cyber charter school for their district. This attracted attention of Battaglia’s Livingston Classical Academy – part of his American Classical Academy group, formerly known as American Christian Academy – who plan to pursue a charter from WLPS:
During a Whitmore Lake Public Schools Board of Education meeting Monday night, the board unanimously passed a resolution to publish a public notice for anyone interested in starting a cyber charter school.
The measure provides a window of opportunity for Livingston Classical Academy. The school had initially planned to occupy the former Lindbom Elementary School building in Brighton after American Classical Academy Brighton Holding LLC bought the building in January; however, those plans stalled when the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education voted not to consider LCA’s request for a charter and LCA was unable to secure another charter in time to open for the 2016 school year.
The former Lindbom school is now being looked at as potential 200-unit assisted-living facility.
LCA has been turned down for a charter before because schools “didn’t like our mission or wanted us to deliver it in a different way, so we decided to go down another avenue,” said Dick Streetman, LCA development team chairman.
“Brighton decided not to put out a public notice at all, so we are thrilled Whitmore is,” Streetman said.
LCA is hoping to obtain a cyber charter this time around. A cyber charter allows online schooling to be mixed in with traditional, in-person schooling.
After looking at other Michigan cyber charter schools, LCA officials decided they wanted to “go down this route.”
“It was an opportunity made known to us from another school, and we decided to try it,” Streetman said. “Many Michigan (cyber charter) schools have had great success with this formula.”
Having been spurned by other districts, the LCA decided to morph itself into a cyber charter school. Because the rules for cyber charters only require one class to be online, they plan to offer “sex education” online to qualify as a cyber charter and, according to the article, are “looking at a few places to build the school if a charter is obtained this time around”.
Here’s what Whitmore Lake parents, teachers, administrators, and board members need to know: the LCA is working hard to set up a school that is entrenched in tea party ideology using our tax dollars. Their “landlord” Battaglia has a notorious social media record calling President Obama “Potentate O” and saying in one tweet, “I develop schools I want well trained, armed teachers in classes.”
Here is a tweet he put up in the wake of Michael Brown’s murderer being acquitted:
— Pasquale Battaglia (@BattagliaPat) November 26, 2014
In his earlier forays into opening a school, Battaglia had this to say (emphasis added):
Please allow me to introduce you to American Classical Academies (AmericanClassicalAcademy.com). ACA is a model for a school system that will offer a classical liberal arts education based upon the foundations of this America. Our methodology will offer this opportunity to families who currently have no other choices for their children. We will provide an education option tuition free working toward autonomy from the government and the government run public school systems, (See Hillsdale Barney Charter School Initiative, http://www.hillsdale.edu/). Potential school boards will be encouraged to seek a partnership with the Hillsdale Barney Charter School Initiative, Hillsdale provides a comprehensive academic program, educational staffing support and ACA provides financing, facilities and business support.
Battaglia frequently quotes Joseph Stalin (“Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed”) and talks about his group’s “mission to help train up American Citizen Patriots”.
His philosophy that the tea party’s path to success is through indoctrinating students in the tea party ideology fits in nicely with Hillsdale College’s Barney Charter School Initiative. This is from their Educational Philosophy page:
[Our] mission has led us to consider how we can lead in the effort to recover our public schools from the tide of a hundred years of progressivism that has corrupted our nation’s original faithfulness to the previous 24 centuries of teaching the young the liberal arts in the West. The public school is arguably among the most important battlegrounds in our war to reclaim our country from forces that have drawn so many away from first principles.
The renaming and refocusing of the original American Christian Academy to conceal their overt religiosity is a direct result of their effort to fund their schools using tax dollars. They were actually authorized to received $100,000 in 2012-2013 and received at least $18,448.44 of that through January of 2014.
I really hope that the decision makers in Whitmore Lake take a long, hard look at the people behind the Livingston Classical Academy/American Classical Academies and ask themselves if becoming entangled with them simply to bring what will likely be only $21,000 a year is worth the risk.
My guess is that, once they educate themselves, they’ll find that it is not.