Key Issues

Finance and Facilities

When the goal of making a profit competes with the goals of teaching and learning, there is a critical need for oversight of charter schools' finances and facilities.The problems range from related parties receiving excessive lease payments to "family affair" charter schools with several relatives on the payroll. Sometimes, the drive for rapid expansion and increased profits means that public funds intended to educate current students are spent instead on facilities intended for future students. This means at times that taxpayers in one state are financing school construction and renovation in another state. In short, because facilities and finance are often a source of significant profit, it is one of the main aspects of charter school operations that is more vulnerable to waste, fraud and abuse-- or more in need of better accountability.

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Imagine Schools gets dumped

Imagine Schools finally gets dumped by the school board. The North Central Ohio Educational Service Center (the school’s sponsor) may close Imagine Columbus Primary Academy.   Members of the charter school’s board resigned amid “ongoing concerns about a high-cost building lease, teacher turnover and adequate services for students.” The board clashed with Imagine Schools “over several issues, […] Read More »

UnChartered Territory

The School Project made a series of documentary films about the effect of school closures on Chicago’s families and educators.  “A team of documentary filmmakers began following affected families and educators, policymakers, and advocates as the closures unfolded — and their stories became a jumping-off point for exploring so many urgent questions facing public education today.” […] Read More »

System Failure: Louisiana’s Broken Charter School Law

The Center for Popular Democracy has a new report outlining the problems with Louisiana’s charter schools. The state has invested billions of dollars to charters and school takeovers; however, the rapid growth has not been accompanied by investment in oversight. “The state’s failure to create an effective financial oversight system is obvious, as Louisiana charter […] Read More »