Wednesday, June 8, 2016

More on How Charter Schools Profit from Tax Dollars and Undermine Host School Districts | janresseger

More on How Charter Schools Profit from Tax Dollars and Undermine Host School Districts | janresseger:
More on How Charter Schools Profit from Tax Dollars and Undermine Host School Districts


Recent weeks have brought a lot of press about the way charter schools are undermining public school districts and diverting tax dollars allocated for education too often to for-profit companies.  Capital & Main in California just published a week-long expose explaining how rapid expansion of charters threatens the financial stability of the Los Angeles and Oakland school districts. The Salt Lake Tribune editorialized against for-profit charters after that newspaper’s scathing investigation explained how, “A handful of private companies have banked more than $68 million from Utah taxpayers over the past three years.”  And in Ohio, after the legislature ended its spring 2016 session without considering an excellent law that would have required the notorious cyber charters to prove that the students the state is paying for are actually participating in the online program, the Columbus Dispatcheditorialized: “The idea was that if student outcomes improved in charter schools, then the schools would continue… But the straightforward experiment went off the rails when some clever operators figured out how to get rich by sponsoring charter schools.  And to keep the gravy flowing, they began making major political contributions to the lawmakers who control the gravy.”
This is the context in which the Center for Popular Democracy has just released its third annual report, Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud, and Abuse: “Two years ago, the Center for Popular Democracy issued a report demonstrating that charter schools in 15 states—about one-third of the states with charter schools—had experienced over $100 million in reported fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement since 1994.  Last year, we released a new report that found millions of dollars of new alleged and confirmed financial fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in charter schools had come to light, bringing the new total to $203 million.  This report offers further evidence that the money we know has been misused is just the tip of the iceberg. With the new alleged and confirmed financial fraud reported here, the total fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in charter schools has reached over $216 million.”
The new report examines fraud and mismanagement across the states and explains that, “State oversight systems are currently reactive by design. While states do require that charter schools submit budgets, financial reports and independent financial audits, most do not proactively monitor for fraud, waste, mismanagement, or other financial abuses.”  The Center for Popular Democracy recommends that charter schools be required to institute internal More on How Charter Schools Profit from Tax Dollars and Undermine Host School Districts | janresseger:

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