The federal grants awarded between 2006-14 for 186 Florida charters were wasted. Forty six of these charters never opened at all. Others closed. You can see the list of federal charter startup grants with the amount of funds lost for each here. A few received $25,000 planning grants and then decided not to open; others received hundreds of thousands of dollars to launch a charter and either did not open or shut down. The Florida Times Union calls for better oversight.
The big money went to charter management organizations. For example:
Charter Schools of Excellence received $2,911,355
Life Skills Centers received $1,608,844
Newpoint received $2,479,612 (and the owners have gone to jail).
The most recent closure data includes even more failed charters…410. Some of these did not receive federal start up grants. Put it all together, and there is nearly a forty percent chance that a charter school will fail.
Charters tend to target big population centers, but even there charters close at a high rate. Thousands of children and their families have been disrupted. The counties with the most closed charters are in:
Broward: 59 charters closed
Dade: 53 charters closed
Hillsborough: 35 charters closed
Orange: 18 charters closed
Palm Beach: 42 charters closed
Some in the charter industry argue that high closure rates are good; they show the market economy works. Others argue that parents are being fed false promises. Children are not commodities to be discarded if they are not profitable.