November 2020

NOV 28, 2020 – Why Are Embezzlement, Fraud, and Indictments So Rampant in the Charter School Sector?

The simple answer is that there are lax standards, poor oversight, and little accountability in the segregated charter school sector. This decades-old set-up is consciously built into many charter school laws, which exist in 44 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

Read more…

NOV 23, 2020 – OPINION: Newell: Pandemic or no, it’s time to put falling charter schools in the hot seat

You may have seen a few stories out lately about New Orleans’ charter schools, and whether or not they’ll be renewed. About a third of them have a D or an F grade. Remember, we allegedly went to charters because the mainline public school system was lacking, unable to deliver the quality of education we thought we should be getting. In many ways, it seems like we are not doing much better.

Read more…

NOV 23, 2020 – Charter School Promoters Complain About Inability to Pilfer More Public Funds

A quick review of charter school news in recent days shows no fewer than a dozen well-coordinated articles about how privately-operated charter schools are not receiving their “fair share” of public funds and that public schools are getting more money than them and this supposedly puts charter schools “at a disadvantage.” The well-synchronized news articles revolve around a November 2020 “study” from the University of Arkansas, Department of Education Reform, titled: “Charter School Funding: Inequity Surges in the Cities.”

Read more…

NOV 23, 2020 – Failed Citizenship: A Charter School Games The System

Under the current interpretation of PROP-39, charter schools are allowed to demand space from public schools to implement their programs. The amount of space that these publicly-funded private schools receive is basedon what is supposed to be a good faith estimate of the number of students the charter school anticipates enrolling in its program. This estimate is supposed to be backed up with a list of students who show “meaningful interest” in attending the charter school.

Read more…

NOV 20, 2020 – Former Philly charter school official charged with embezzlement

A former employee of a now-closed North Philadelphia charter school has been charged with embezzling more than $350,000.

Darnell Smith, the former chief financial officer of Khepera Charter School, misused the funds while earning a six-figure salary, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Friday.

Read more…

NOV 19, 2020 – Charter school in Parker removes remote learning, leaving parents scrambling to find a new school

Parents of students at Leman Academy of Excellence in Parker are frantically trying to find a new school after they were informed remote learning would no longer be an option at the school.

“We were notified, ‘You come back in January, 5 days a week, in-person, or you’ll have to find and alternative school,” said one mother who asked to remain anonymous for this story.

Read more…

NOV 20, 2020 – Normandy charter school meets resistance from community leaders

A charter school is coming to the Normandy school district next fall, despite the most organized opposition since the taxpayer-funded schools first opened 20 years ago in St. Louis.

“We reject the idea of experimenting with our educational system with our children,” said Joyce McRath, a former Normandy School Board member. “The push for charter schools rarely happens in rural communities or communities that don’t look like ours.”

Read more…

NOV 14, 2020 – Stitt removes board president leading inquiries into Epic Charter Schools and board member conflicts of interest, appoints Christian school leader

Gov. Kevin Stitt on Friday removed the president of the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board who recently led the initiation of termination proceedings against Epic Charter Schools and challenged two other board members about potential conflicts of interest with Epic.

Read more…

NOV 14, 2020 – Epic Charter School’s standing in doubt as new concerns arise

New complaints from state officials could knock Epic Charter Schools’ accreditation status.

Hofmeister and Clark recommended the Oklahoma State Board of Education put Epic on probation to signal the school system is not in good standing with the state. 

Read more…

NOV 11, 2020 – ‘It is devastating’: State may shut down charter school for not submitting audits

The Essie Mae Kiser Foxx Charter School in East Spencer may be forced to shut down, which would have about 100 students scrambling to find a new school.

State leaders said the school has failed to submit audits for the past two years, which could be grounds to close the facility.

Read more…

NOV 10, 2020 – A charter school is being built across the street from a public school. Some aren’t happy about it

The building of a new charter school in San Pablo is now underway and many community members are not happy about it.

The main reason for the dismay — there’s already a public school right across the street.

Residents in the area told News4Jax they were shocked and concerned when they learned a new school was being built across the street from Alimacani Elementary School.

Read more…

NOV 04, 2020 – Illinois-based Concept Schools to pay $4.5 million federal settlement

An Illinois-based charter school with buildings in Lorain and other Ohio cities will pay a $4.5 million settlement to resolve federal fraud allegations.

The Federal Communications Commission alleged Concept Schools violated the False Claims Act by violating competitive bidding requirements in regards to a program that subsidizes equipment and internet access services for needy public schools.

Read more…

NOV 03, 2020 – Connecticut charter schools take advantage of PPP funding, while traditional public schools are left behind

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, charter schools in Connecticut accepted loans from the Small Business Administration Payment Protection Program (PPP). The paycheck protection program is a federal program, implemented during the coronavirus pandemic, that provides loans to small businesses to incentivize them to keep their workers on payroll. They come with low interest rates, two to five years to pay back the loan, and no small business fees. None of these loans were available to traditional public schools, as they are not considered businesses.

Read more…