Remember the post on Profit Trumps Public Interest? It was the one the National Council of State Legislatures put out on for-profit education management companies. We discovered that National Heritage Academies had some serious problems. Propublica published a follow-up article on the for-profit National Heritage Academies.
The Michigan State Board of Education has now asked the legislature to outlaw “sweep contracts” to for-profit companies, but the legislator did not listen. These sweep contracts are the type where charter schools give 95% of their budgets to management companies. The issue is again the inability to track where public money goes when it is ‘swept up’ in this way by private companies. The auditors are complaining. We need to listen to their concerns in New York, Michigan, Ohio and D.C.
It would be good to hear from states that ban for-profits: New York, Mississippi, Tennessee, Rhode Island, and New Mexico. Massachusetts and Delaware have strict regulations about advisory board independence that appear to discourage for-profit management companies. Is there less fiscal mismanagement? Does the money go to instruction? Which students are served? What are the fiscal mismanagement problems of nonprofit educational management companies? What changes in charter management oversight are needed?