News Story

Administrator Group Rails Against Education 'Profiteers;' Makes Millions Off Schools

The Michigan Association of School Administrators has been one of the most vocal organizations against what it calls “for profit” charter schools.

In an op-ed, MASA Executive Director William Mayes rails against “profiteers who will be allowed to take taxpayer dollars … ”

While Mayes complains about "profiteers" he has been paid on average a total compensation of $205,000 the past three years, according to records MASA submitted to the Internal Revenue Service. MASA makes a significant amount of its money due to its relationship with public schools.

MASA made $3.3 million on its “program service revenue” that involves two multi-day conferences it puts on and is attended by public school officials. Public school districts also pay to be members of MASA. For example, the Utica Community Schools District paid MASA $2,500 in 2011-12.

MASA is classified as a non-profit, which plays to the myth that only charter schools benefit financially in dealings with public education. The “profiteering” theme has been a main criticism of the education reform bills that include House Bill 5923, House Bill 6004 and Senate Bill 1358.

Mayes didn’t respond to a request asking for an explanation how MASA is different from the charter school that hires a for-profit company to run its schools.

"Many people and organizations make profits off of the tax dollars we supply to schools to provide education for students and they have for many years,” said Michael Van Beek,  education policy director at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Van Beek questioned why MASA is only criticizing charter schools for hiring for-profit vendors while public schools also have the same practices.

For example, on May 3, the Ann Arbor Public Schools district paid $21,000 to Apple Computer and $27,500 to Google.

"But where’s the outrage over the for-profit textbook companies, pencil manufacturers or Apple?" Van Beek said.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.