Cashing in on Kids

Report offers a blueprint for a strong critique of federal oversight of charter schools

Feds Spent $3.3 Billion Fueling Charter Schools but No One Knows What It's Really Bought

The Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch wrote a report showing how taxpayer money is wasted by charter schools. (Read the full CMD Report on Charter School Waste and Lack of Accountability.)

Excerpts from the report:

“The U.S. Government Has Spent $3.3 Billion on Charters since 1993.”

“The Bottom Line: no one actually tracks the list of charter schools that received federal tax dollars to open, expand and/or replicate charter schools, how much they received, or how they spent the people’s monies.”

“Little is known about how tax dollars are spent with the black-¬‐box funding for all charters, including:
-How much tax money each charter received each school year;
-How much was spent on executive compensation at each charter school;
-How much was spent on teachers or on salaries relative to experience or credentials;
-How much went directly into the classroom; and
-How much was spent on for-profit contracts (outsourcing accounting, cleaning, or food services, etc.) with firms that might be closely connected to charter school executives or unaccountable to the public.”

How much was spent on for-profit contracts (outsourcing accounting, cleaning, or food services, etc.) with firms that might be closely connected to charter school executives or unaccountable to the public.”

That is, there is no systematic public accounting for how the federal budget allocated to charters is actually being spent, and not even a reliable per-pupil/per capital figure.

NY Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez on the report: He asks, “So who in Washington is paying attention?”