Talk about a rough week. Take a look at the news stories coming out about charter schools this week.
On Saturday, the Akron Beacon Journal (again) led the way on enterprise reporting on this topic by publishing an analysis of 4,263 audits done last year by the Auditor of State revealed that "No sector — not local governments, school districts, court systems, public universities or hospitals — misspends tax dollars like charter schools in Ohio."
Among the findings:
While charters only accounted for 400 of 5,800 audits, they accounted for 70% of the misspent money
$25 million in misspent money remains unpaid
For every $1 misspent found by private auditors, public auditors found $102
The misspending is probably worse than what the audits turned up because so many charters were next to impossible to audit, according to the Beacon Journal.
Then came a Columbus Dispatch editorial (historically, no friend of the charter critic) that called out charter school sponsors for wanting to hide their expenditures to oversee the sector, except in limited cases -- an argument not much different from one I made about the same time.
Later that same day, the Dispatch revealed that the troubled North Side Imagine charter school might be shut down because its board just up and quit. This is the same school that was found last year toy be spending an exorbitant amount of money leasing the property from a subsidiary of Imagine Schools -- a practice that was found to be illegal in Missouri. Imagine Schools, Inc. run schools in 11 states and are no stranger to controversy.
Meanwhile, the same day, the Dayton Daily News reported that three former Dayton-area charter school officials were convicted of bribery and conspiracy charges in connection with their operation of the Arise! Academy.
They all face at least 15 years in federal prison for steering lucrative contracts to each other.
(Read more at 10th Period)