Columbus Education Association members are celebrating a big win for students after the Columbus City School Board of Education pulled a proposed contract with a controversial education outsourcing company from its September 1, 2020 meeting agenda. Though the proposed one-year, $360,000 contract with for-profit Camelot Education would not have directly outsourced services to students, it did cover an assessment, professional development, and “year-end report” on Columbus Scioto 6-12, a CCS alternative school of the same type that Camelot runs privately all over the country. Such assessments and reports are often precursors to full outsourcing of services.
Upon being informed of Camelot Education’s intrusion into their building, CEA members immediately went to work researching the company. What they found was extremely disturbing. Camelot has a documented history of physical abuse allegations from students spanning 10 years and three states, as well as accusations of running it’s schools with an “incarceration type of environment”. Also troubling was the company’s apparent close relationship with former CCS Chief Academic Officer Tracy Ocasio, who recently departed the district on questionable terms. Publicly available documents show that Ocasio worked closely with Camelot in academic roles in at least two other cities.
Holli Anderson, Intervention Specialist and CEA Senior Faculty Representative at Columbus Scioto 6-12, was in contact with CEA leadership immediately, who quickly passed the information to members of the School Board. “We will always fight to protect our students from education profiteers, especially when they have a history like Camelot Education”, said Anderson.
CEA President John Coneglio added “We are thankful that in this case our CCS School Board did the right thing by pulling this contract from the agenda. Our members at Columbus Scioto 6-12 and across the district will remain vigilant to privatization threats from those looking to make a quick buck off our students. Our schools are not for sale.”