Pioneer of school choice in Ohio, top Republican donor dies

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AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The founder of a for-profit charter school who was a pioneer in Ohio's school choice movement and an influential Republican donor has died.

The family of David Brennan says he died Sunday. He was 87.

The Akron native and industrialist founded White Hat Management in 1998. It became one of the largest for-profit operators of charter schools in the nation.

The schools struggled financially in recent years as the market became more competitive. The company sold off the last of its contracts to run charter schools in August.

Brennan helped influence state policy on publicly funded but privately run charter schools.

He also was a top Republican donor, giving to both national and state campaigns.

Brennan founded a company that oversaw several manufacturing operations before he got involved with education.

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