Stephen Dyer helped to create the marvelous Know Your Charter website for Ohio. Here he summarizes the awful week that charters have had in a state where GOP politicians and business leaders have embraced them.
“On Saturday, the Akron Beacon Journal (again) led the way on enterprise reporting on this topic by publishing an analysis of 4,263 audits done last year by the Auditor of State revealed that
“No sector — not local governments, school districts, court systems, public universities or hospitals — misspends tax dollars like charter schools in Ohio.”
“Among the findings:
“While charters only accounted for 400 of 5,800 audits, they accounted for 70% of the misspent money
“$25 million in misspent money remains unpaid
“For every $1 misspent found by private auditors, public auditors found $102
The misspending is probably worse than what the audits turned up because so many charters were next to impossible to audit, according to the Beacon Journal.
“Then came a Columbus Dispatch editorial (historically, no friend of the charter critic) that called out charter school sponsors for wanting to hide their expenditures to oversee the sector, except in limited cases — an argument not much different from one I made about the same time.”
Add to that charter school closings, convictions of charter officials for financial crimes, and more.
If this keeps up, the public will begin to associate “charters” with fraud, greed, and corruption.