Chartered for Profit: The Hidden World of Charter Schools Operated for Financial Gain

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In this report, we focus on the world of charter schools run for profit, a world both hidden and misunderstood. We pull back the veil on tactics and practices designed to reap as many public dollars as possible from charter schools while hiding behind laws designed to keep profit-making hidden from the public’s eyes.  This report exposes how both large and small for-profit companies evade state laws that make for-profit charter schools illegal by the use of related entities and a nonprofit front. We explain and provide examples of how for-profit owners maximize their profits through self-dealing, excessive fees, real estate transactions, and under-serving students who need the most expensive services.

You can view and read the report by clicking the image below.


Interactive and LittleSis maps in the report

The interactive map (view using a laptop or desktop) developed for this report shows the distribution of over 1,100 charter schools run for profit in twenty-six states and the District of Columbia. It also includes individual maps of the five states that have the highest concentration of these schools. Those states are Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, and Ohio.


The report also includes two LittleSis maps. LittleSis is a crowd-sourced database of interwoven corporate relationships. The first map is a summary of former banker Ron Packard’s career founding and leading for-profit charter management corporations, and the second explores the connections between Charter Schools USA and the affiliated corporations connected to the for-profit charter chain.

Grifter in the Schoolyard: How Ron Packard Created Two For-Profit Charter Empires


How Charter Schools USA Creates Multiple Entities to Maximize Profits


In the Media

Biden promised to end federal funding of for-profit charter schools. A new report explains how they operate.

President Biden said while running for the White House that he would bar for-profit charter schools from receiving federal funding, and the 2020 Democratic platform explained why:

Charter schools were originally intended to be publicly funded schools with increased flexibility in program design and operations. Democrats believe that education is a public good and should not be saddled with a private profit motive, which is why we will ban for-profit private charter businesses from receiving federal funding.

Now a new report, titled “Chartered For Profit: The Hidden World of Charter Schools Operated for Financial Gain,” details how many for-profit management companies (referred to as EMOs) evade state laws banning for-profit charters.

To read the full story on Valerie Strauss’ Answer Sheet blog in the Washington Post, click here.


Report: How A Non-Profit Charter School Can Be Run For Profit

It has become cliche for politicians and policy makers to oppose “for profit” charter schools. It’s also a safe stance, because most people agree they’re a bad idea; for-profit charter schools are not legal in almost all states.

To read the full story in Forbes, click here.

Proof That Greed and Education Don’t Mix

A new report by the Network for Public Education (NPE) explains why charter schools are often nonprofit in name only when they are associated with a for-profit management group.

To read the full story in LA Progressive, click here.


The for-profit charter school industry is completely out of control

To read the full story in AlterNet, click here

For-Profit Charter Schools are ripping off massive amounts of your tax dollars: New Report

To read the full story in The Real Deal Press, click here.