Valerie Strauss, education writer for the Washington Post, published a big story today. Carol Burris, the Executive Director of the Network for Public Education, tracked federal startup grants in several states. In ‘Asleep at the Wheel’, she found 1,000 charter schools receiving federal start up funds either never opened, opened and then closed due to mismanagement and other reasons. Even the U.S. Inspector General’s warning about charter mismanagement was ignored by the U.S. Department of Education.
The complete NPE report is here.
We know that similar problems have been uncovered in Florida. See the Black Holes: Where does federal charter money go?
Controlling charter mismanagement and abuse has to be tied to the federal government’s funding authorization. Over four billion dollars in federal start-up grants have been given to the states to open charters, needed or not. This is the time to let your congressmen and women that they need to be better stewards of your money.