According to the Orlando Sentinel, Milton West sold four acres to CSUSA for $683,000. According to the Florida Commission on Ethics investigation, West’s private and public responsibilities were in conflict. West had filed notice of his interest in the real estate deal and did not vote on the charter school proposal. According to reports, however, he urged the other commissioners to vote for the proposal.
For-profit education management companies run at least a third of Florida’ charter schools. Many have lease and bond payments over a million dollars per year. The lack of oversight of charter management companies continues to result in fiscal mismanagement. Newpoint charters are under federal investigation. Academica has been subject to federal investigation. CSUSA business practices are under review in Hillsborough County by the League of Women Voters due to excessive lease and fee payments.
Some states prohibit for-profit charter management companies. It is time Florida’s education policy makers took this issue seriously.