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Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:23 PM

New report on charter school industry...$100 million taken in 15 states from public education.

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Time to get an education post on the front page. Been a long long long time.

That's truly stunning. This new group of educators is apparently doing a state by state check-up on what charter schools are costing due to "fraud, waste, and abuse".

They are called Integrity in Education. They partnered with the Center for Popular Democracy. We need groups like this because big media is in the pockets of the billionaire reformers.

New Report On Charter Industry Exposes $100 Million in Taxpayer Funds Meant For Children Instead Lost To Fraud, Waste & Abuse

“Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud And Abuse,” authored by the Center for Popular Democracy and Integrity in Education, echoes a warning from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General. The report draws upon news reports, criminal complaints and more to detail how, in just 15 of the 42 states that have charter schools, charter operators have used school funds illegally to buy personal luxuries for themselves, support their other businesses, and more.

The report also includes recommendations for policymakers on how they can address the problem of rampant fraud, waste and abuse in the charter school industry. Both organizations recommend pausing charter expansion until these problems are addressed.

“We expected to find a fair amount of fraud when we began this project, but we did not expect to find over $100 million in taxpayer dollars lost. That’s just in 15 states. And that figure fails to capture the real harm to children. Clearly, we should hit the pause button on charter expansion until there is a better oversight system in place to protect our children and our communities,” said Kyle Serrette, the Director of Education Justice at the Center for Popular Democracy.”

“Our school system exists to serve students and enrich communities,” added Sabrina Stevens, Executive Director of Integrity in Education. “School funding is too scarce as it is; we can hardly afford to waste the resources we do have on people who would prioritize exotic vacations over school supplies or food for children. We also can’t continue to rely on the media or isolated whistleblowers to identify these problems. We need to have rules in place that can systematically weed out incompetent or unscrupulous charter operators before they pose a risk to students and taxpayers.”

The report can be found at www.populardemocracy.org and www.integrityineducation.org.

A new report from the group centers on the $30 million lost to fraud in Pennsylvania alone.

PA Charter School Fraud Totals $30 million, Education Groups Launch State-by-State Investigation

Philadelphia, PA, Washington, D.C. and New York, NY, October 1, 2014 — Today, the Center for Popular Democracy, Integrity in Education and ACTION United released a report titled “Fraud and Financial Mismanagement in Pennsylvania’s Charter Schools” that exposes at least $30 million lost to waste, fraud, and abuse in Pennsylvania since the passage of that state’s charter school law in 1997 and was the subject of a Philadelphia Inquirer exclusive this morning. ACTION United will hold rallies at Governor Tom Corbett’s offices in Philadelphia at 11:00 a.m. today and in Pittsburgh tomorrow.

“Pennsylvania’s children and families have been robbed by charter school operators to the tune of $30 million, and enough is enough,” said Ted Stones, who is on the board of directors of ACTION United. “Leaders in Michigan and other states are taking a stand, recognizing that there’s no sense in expanding a broken system without the oversight and integrity that our children deserve. We hope Governor Corbett has the same common sense.”

.....“Public funds should be spent nurturing students’ growth and potential, not on charter industry fraud,” said Sabrina Stevens, Executive Director of Integrity in Education. “With over $1 billion going to charter schools in Pennsylvania, it’s time for charter schools to be held to the same standards of transparency and oversight that public schools are held to.”

...The most common type of fraud in Pennsylvania was found to be misappropriation involving the misuse or theft of assets. In many instances, fraud went unnoticed by governing boards—in some cases for years—which experts say would not have happened had governing boards established strong internal controls. The problem is not limited to Pennsylvania—last May, a national report titled “Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud, and Abuse” by the two organizations exposed over $100 million in public tax funds stolen from just 15 of 42 states that have charter schools.

Here is more about Integrity in Education, their editors, and their plans.

What We Do

For too long, a small, like-minded group of outside interests funded by corporations have taken advantage of existing inequalities and the bad conditions created by public disinvestment to advance a false narrative about our public schools. Without honest, accurate information about the true state of our schools, we can’t protect what is working or fix what isn’t.

That’s why we are committed to speaking the truth about our schools. Through hard-hitting media campaigns and unapologetic advocacy, we will change the education conversation by shining a light on the people who are making education for democracy a reality, while exposing the profit-driven corporate interest groups who are turning our public schools toward their private advantage.

You can follow these two groups at Twitter:



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Reply New report on charter school industry...$100 million taken in 15 states from public education. (Original post)
madfloridian Oct 2014 OP
Lifelong Protester Oct 2014 #1
madfloridian Oct 2014 #2
Lifelong Protester Oct 2014 #3

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:46 PM

1. In a related story,

here in WI, for school students in our local school district the school receives around $1200 in state aid. Voucher school kids-$7800 per kid. So my taxes are helping someone to a private school education (your choice, of course, but why am I paying for it?).

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Response to Lifelong Protester (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 11:01 PM

2. Happening in Florida also. Vouchers for poor, needy to private religious schools...

paid for by taxpayers.

We also have the McKay vouchers for those with disabilities. They get their vouchers from corporations who in turn get huge tax breaks. Hundreds of millions less last I saw going to public schools because corporations pay less taxes if they give vouchers.

BTW in FL private schools are not regulated at all. They do not even have to hire certified teachers.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 11:45 PM

3. same in WI

no accountability, no time devoted to mandated testing, no requirement for certified teachers. And my tax dollars pay for someone to have on the door of their primary classroom "Jesus can see your heart, and it is evil!" Great, huh? A group did a survey of Milwaukee charters and found that picture. I could provide a link but I have to get to bed for school tomorrow!!

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