Key Issues

Public Control

Charter schools are granted greater autonomy from the decisions of public officials with the promise they will deliver better performance for our schools. But even with autonomy, charters, funded by taxpayer dollars, must be accountable to public institutions that set standards and expectations and closely monitor the schools. Unfortunately, experience has shown that the public is losing important control of a taxpayer-funded institution. In many cases, the public loses the ability to request and view important information. (See Transparency.) When neighborhood schools are replaced by charter schools, there often is a shift from a democratically elected school board to an appointed charter school board.

As the public loses control of charter schools, especially those operated by for-profit companies, the broader public is increasingly excluded from the decision-making process about directions, policies and programs that educate our children.

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Ohio Supreme Court Reluctantly Rules in White Hat’s Favor

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled this week that all assets purchased by ten Ohio charter schools belongs to their former operator, White Hat Management. The schools all terminated their contracts with White Hat, which then demanded payment for facilities and equipment if the school wanted to keep the property. According to the contracts each school […] Read More »

Charter School in PA using facilities to funnel cash away from instruction

  |   Tags: Accountability, Finance and Facilities, Oversight, Public Control, Self-Dealing, Transparency

A recent article on outlines a few of the ways charter schools use facilities funding to divert public money. This includes expensive bond transactions, related party deals, and lining the pockets of consultants. As Rutgers education professor Bruce Baker put it: “public policy permits a bad deal for the public — one that essentially […] Read More »

Imagine Schools to Ohio: “See You in Court!”

When the Ohio Department of Education moved to close two imagine charters for “overall poor performance,” Imagine Schools responded like someone trying to get out of a speeding ticket: it’s suing the state for failing to close schools that perform even worse. As reported in the Akron Beacon Journal: The lawsuit alleges that the state […] Read More »