When state governments offload expensive public services to the private sector they’re essentially abdicating their role as public servants. Sure, if you can afford to pay to send your child to a shiny new school with up-to-date textbooks you be crazy not to right? Sadly, you discover your money doesn’t buy a better education for your children but you did pay your fair share of that nifty new corporate jet.
York teachers and parents have good reasons to be wary of charter school takeover. As a new report discloses, charter school officials in their state have defrauded at least $30 million intended for school children since 1997.
The report, “Fraud and Financial Mismanagement in Pennsylvania’s Charter Schools,” was released by three groups, the Center for Popular Democracy, Integrity in Education, and ACTION United.
Startling examples of charter school financial malfeasance revealed by the authors –just in Pennsylvania – include an administrator who diverted $2.6 million in school funds to a church property he also operated. Another charter school chief was caught spending millions in school funds to bail out other nonprofits associated with the school. A pair of charter school operators stole more than $900,000 from the school by using fraudulent invoices, and a cyber school entrepreneur diverted $8 million of school funds for houses, a Florida condominium, and an airplane.
The more concerning consequence is that US public schools are incredibly underfunded and closing at an alarming rate. There are some glimmers that parents are waking up to the fact that for-profit companies don’t put the public’s best interest ahead of their own.
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