THE FACILITIES QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
Which states limit charter school lease or rent payments?
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Follow the Money. It is our tax money that is at risk. Charter schools may be located in public school buildings, other public entities or privately owned. How the construction of these buildings is financed can be difficult to discover. Privately owned buildings may be leased to education management companies without much oversight on the cost. Questions arise about:
- Private Ownership: lack of transparency, conflict of interest
- Appropriate Building Standards
- Excessive Payments: bonds, leases, interest rates to interrelated real estate, loan, and educational management companies.
FINANCE AND FACILITY STANDARDS DO EXIST, OR DO THEY? Check the NCSL site for your state. Charter School Facilities. Are states regulating the real estate deals for charters?
- MINNESOTA. Charter Handbook-Facilities. This site explains charter facility ownership rules. Minnesota leases are paid by the state. There is a sample cost list per sq. ft. A school create an -“affiliated building company” – that must be non-profit.
- NEW YORK. Charters may not use per pupil funding to pay for bonds or for construction costs.
LEASE AND RENT CONTROVERSIES GO HAND-IN-HAND WITH FOR-PROFIT MANAGEMENT COMPANIES.
- MICHIGAN. Charter Schools and High Rents. Video. Detroit Free Press.
- MICHIGAN. Michigan’s Biggest Charter Schools Pay High Rents. Video. Detroit Free Press. 2014.
- FLORIDA. Charters Making Big Profits for Private Companies. WTSP News. 2014.
- KANSAS. Imagine Schools double dealing. http://www.journalgazette.net/opinion/editorials/Charter-d–233-j–224–vu-4771444
If you cannot find it here, do a Google search for your state’s ‘charter school lease payments’. Let us know what you find out.
CHARTER SCHOOL CAPITAL FUNDING: http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7568/urlt/0073611-tax.pdf