Friday, October 7, 2016

U.S. Dept. of Education’s Own Inspector Again Condemns DOE’s Oversight of Charter School Grants | janresseger

U.S. Dept. of Education’s Own Inspector Again Condemns DOE’s Oversight of Charter School Grants | janresseger:

U.S. Dept. of Education’s Own Inspector Again Condemns DOE’s Oversight of Charter School Grants


You may not be aware that the U.S. Department of Education—under President Barack Obama’s appointees, Arne Duncan and John King—has been awarding billions of dollars to promote the growth of charter schools across the states. Even less reported has been the failure by the U.S. Department of Education to ensure good stewardship of federal funds through careful administration of the federal Charter Schools Program.  Although the operation of the federal Charter Schools Program has been little-reported, there have been warnings. A 2012 report from the Department of Education’s internal Office of Inspector General  (1) exposed the Department’s failure to ensure careful oversight of federal funds by the state departments of education who received grants, and (2) confirmed the Department’s failure to regulate the charter school management organizations that have been charged with overseeing the operations of the schools  supposedly under their purview.
Another—September 2016—report from the U.S. Department of Education’s own Office of Inspector General has uncovered the very same problems. On Wednesday, Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post, shared the new scathing, new indictment by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General of the Department’s own Charter Schools Program: “The Education Department has… poured in excess of $3 billion into the creation and operation of charter schools, but according to a new audit by the agency’s own inspector general’s office, it has failed in some cases to provide adequate oversight and as a result has put its own grants at risk.  The audit titled, Nationwide Assessment of Charter and Education Management Organizations, and conducted by the department’s inspector general… looked at the relationship that several dozen charter schools have had with their own charter management organizations (CMOs).  It found, among other things that there were ‘internal control weaknesses’ related to the schools’ relationships to their CMOs that were so severe that the department’s own program objectives were at ‘significant risk.'”
Strauss continues: “The newly released report comes just as the department announced $245 million in new grants to state educational agencies (state departments of education) and CMOs under its Charter Schools Program, which funds the creation and expansion of charters around the country.  The Charter Schools Program has invested more than $3 billion into these schools since 1995, helping more than 2,500 charter schools open… According to the audit… the department didn’t do enough to ensure that some of the charter schools it is funding have been able to reach the stated goals.”


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