May 30, 2018 1:29 pm

What and who are fueling the movement to privatize public education — and why you should care

Published by

Answer Sheet
By Valerie Strauss

By Joanne Barkan

Both charter school management and voucher programs are rife with fraud. It comes with the territory when states hand out millions of dollars to private sector actors without adequate vetting or ongoing oversight.

The pro-public-school Network for Public Education posts a feature on its website called ANOTHERDAYANOTHERCHARTERSCANDAL, which keeps a running account of charter misconduct along with links to source material.

Here are a few typical scandals from a four-week period in fall 2017:

The founder and former administrator of Southwest Learning Centers, which ran four charter schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico, pleaded guilty to pocketing over $2 million by having his schools pay fake invoices to a fake company he set up in Las Vegas. He also billed parents for online credits that their children never earned and charged his schools double the actual rent for a building he leased.

The Pennsylvania Ethics Commission fined the former chief executive officer of the defunct Pocono Mountain Charter School in Coolbaugh Township for four years of deficient financial statements. The commission also cited him for asking the charter board to raise his wife’s salary at the school and hire his children for school positions. The former principal of a Delaware charter school — the Academy of Dover — pleaded guilty to embezzling $145,480. The case went to federal court “due to the significant [federal] funding received by the Academy of Dover.

To read the rest of Joann’s piece, click here.