Ohio Democratic Senate candidate Ted Strickland said Wednesday that the state’s taxpayers have been "raped" by charter schools.
According to the Need to Know Network, Strickland made the remarks at the Columbus Metropolitan Club. Strickland’s attack on Ohio’s charter school system is focused on mostly poorer neighborhoods where public schools struggle.
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"Now, we have seen Ohio taxpayers raped by the charter school, for-profit entities in this state," Strickland said. "It’s shameful. It is shameful. It’s an embarrassment. I think it is, if it’s not illegal theft, it’s moral theft of public resources, and I think thousands of our young people have been deprived of the opportunity to get a decent education because of the power of the charter school lobby in this state."
This is not Strickland’s first controversial comments of the election cycle. He also suggested that the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death came "at a good time," a remark for which he later apologized.
The former governor’s highly charged rhetoric came as he is trailing incumbent Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) in the polls by a large margin. The Real Clear Politics average of polls has Portman ahead of Strickland by double digit margins. A recent Quinnipiac University poll shows Strickland trailing Portman by 17 points, and the Senate Majority PAC supporting Democrats has pulled millions in television ads from the state.