Skip to main content

That was just in one year's time from 2010 to 2011.  That's shocking to me.  It takes money from traditional public schools, and it gives those resources to schools with little accountability.

As charter schools grow, so do management fees

The for-profit management company, Accelerated Learning Solutions out of Nashville, Tenn., raised its fee from $1 million in 2010 to nearly $3.2 million in 2011.

And the fee is charged on top of the school’s operating expenses, Brown said.

 “It is a real problem, and it is something the public needs to be aware of,” said Orange County School Board chairman Bill Sublette. “We need our legislature to take a good, hard look at charter schools at limiting management fees."

Under current law, finding out how much in tax dollars are going to profit is impossible. ALS will not tell WFTV how much it is profiting off tax dollars, and it doesn’t have to, according to the law.

The article points out that "with no itemized budget, taxpayers will have to take the company's word for it."

I can just imagine traditional public schools getting away with refusing to submit a budget and itemize expenses.  Never will happen.  And shouldn't.

Not just Florida either.  In California there is an investigation into Ben Chavis' American Indian charter school.  The article indicates this might lead to a criminal investigation of Chavis personally.

State audit finds evidence of fraud, conflicts of interest by Oakland charter school operator

A state investigation into allegations of operational fraud and other unscrupulous activity by Ben Chavis -- a businessman who has also served, off and on, as director of three publicly funded but independently run charter schools named American Indian -- and his wife, who provided financial services to the school, cited numerous examples of financial conflicts of interest and fraudulent expenditures.

The American Indian Model's middle schools have the best test scores in Oakland and among the highest in the state; its high school also has near-perfect scores. In his book, "Crazy like a Fox," Director Ben Chavis touts the model's success and ridicules the public school system for wasting tax dollars, arguing that schools don't need more money.

But in recent months, Chavis' own stewardship of public funds has come under scrutiny. The state Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team, which produced the scathing report, was asked by Alameda County Superintendent Sheila Jordan to investigate allegations made by a former employee of financial abuses -- including a $100,000 salary he took during at least one year of his retirement.

Now that auditors have found significant evidence to back those claims,
Chavis could soon find himself the subject of a criminal investigation. Jordan announced Wednesday she would forward the case to the District Attorney's office, as recommended by the audit team. Jordan said she also wrote a letter to Oakland Superintendent Tony Smith, asking the district to consider revoking the schools' charters.

Strange he is critical of public schools' use of taxpayer money when schools like his are literally taking that funding source away from them.

What a convenient argument for Chavis, that schools don't "need more money."

I doubt many public schools would get away with the forms of discipline he employs, either.  It is said the most famous "brand of discipline is a student head-shaving that took place at a school assembly, with parent permission, after the boy was caught stealing."

These schools depend on taxpayer money, yet they do not want to account for how that money is spent.   Few in the nation's leadership are visibly fighting this kind of thing, and the policy of this administration is to call for more charter schools.  

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site