March 14, 2024 9:34 pm

Texas Ed Department Approves Scandal-ridden Charter Chain’s Expansion

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 For immediate release:

Within days of appointing conservators to manage the IDEA charter chain, the Texas Education Agency gives it the green light to expand.

Contact: Carol Burris

(646) 678-4477

There is a major financial and ethical charter scandal in Texas, and the Network for Public Education is outraged. The same day that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced the appointment of a management team for IDEA charter schools following years of inappropriate spending, the charter chain submitted a request for a massive expansion that would add ten new charter campuses in Texas.

On March 6, the TEA announced it appointed two conservators to oversee IDEA charter schools following its investigation into multiple allegations of financial mishandling. Two days later, the TEA approved that expansion without public comment or meaningful notice.

Scandals involving IDEA include the following:

The charter chain obtained nearly $300,000,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to expand to 123 schools. Following an audit, the Department is now demanding that IDEA return $28 million to be paid using Texas taxpayer dollars.

NPE President Diane Ravitch has been following the charter chain’s scandals for years. “The IDEA charter chain has a long-established reputation for spending millions on luxury items for its leaders while paying executives private-sector salaries. The grifting at public expense must stop. When one Houston school received failing grades, TEA took over the entire district. In this case, TEA appointed a conservator from another charter chain and then approved IDEA’s expansion in a shady insider deal.”

According to Network for Public Education Executive Director Carol Burris, “The scandals involving this federal Charter School Program (CSP) recipient are breathtaking. As shocking as seems, it is possible this new expansion of the corrupt IDEA charter chain will be financed through CSP grant money. We all foot the bill.”

The Network for Public Education is a national advocacy group whose mission is to preserve, promote, improve, and strengthen public schools for current and future generations of students.