Key Issues


The public has a right to know how tax dollars are spent. In many cases, charter schools' finances and operations are opaque. For example, when a nonprofit charter school operator hires a for-profit company, it sometimes pays the for-profit more than 95% of the tax dollars it receives from the state. Yet, taxpayers have no right to ask the for-profit company how it spent the money. White Hat Management, which runs 33 charters in three states, refused to open its books to the schools’ governing boards. Despite losing repeatedly in the courts, White Hat continues to fight to keep information from its schools’ board members. And in Washington, D.C., charter school boards are exempt from open meetings and public records laws.

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Pearson is cashing in without results

  |   Tags: Accountability, Public Control, Quality, Transparency

Pearson is making tens of millions from taxpayer dollars from deals made without competitive bidding, even though there is little proof that their services and products are effective. A POLITICO investigation found that “Pearson’s contracts set forth specific performance targets — but don’t penalize the company when it fails to meet those standards. And in […] Read More »

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 »

Ohio audits show charter school mismanagement

  |   Tags: Accountability, Key Issues, Oversight, Transparency

A Beacon Journal review of state audits of charter schools back to 2000 showed the following: State auditors have discovered $27,326,928 in taxpayer funds misspent at 166 charter schools. That’s nearly a third of all tax dollars spent improperly since 2001. In the past two years, charter schools accounted for more than 70 percent of […] Read More »