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Martin Levine reports in “Nonprofit Quarterly” that charter frauds are multiplying, yet the U.S. Department of Education fecklessly plans to increase charter school funding by 48%.
The frauds are facilitated because of inadequate supervision by state or local agencies. Unscrupulous charter operators take advantage of deregulation to steal taxpayers’ dollars or make lucrative contracts with friends, relatives, or their own corporations.
“Six distinct categories were needed for this report to capture the practices of the charter school operators that were studied:
*Charter operators using funds illegally for personal gain
*School revenue used to illegally support other charter operator businesses
*Mismanagement that puts children in actual or potential danger
*Charters illegally requesting public dollars for services not provided
*Charter operators illegally inflating enrollment to boost revenues; and
*Charter operators mismanaging public funds and schools
“At the federal level, despite the apparent misuse of such large sums of scarce funds and the lack of adequate oversight mechanisms, the 2016 budget that is working its way through Congress includes a significant increase in funding with little if any increase of management. According to Jonas Persson of PR Watch, “Despite drawing repeated criticism from the Office of the Inspector General for suspected waste and inadequate financial controls within the federal Charter Schools Program—designed to create, expand, and replicate charter schools—the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is poised to increase its funding by 48 percent in FY 2016.”