Thursday, October 30, 2014

Old story, new setting

I realize we've hammered this point quite a bit but, for their own good as well as the public's, charter schools have got to come up with an aggressive plan to deal with the self-dealing, price gouging and general looting that is becoming widespread in places like Michigan, Florida and Ohio.

From the Toledo Blade:
The charter school Imagine School for the Arts is paying rent of nearly $1 million a year on a downtown building with the education funding it gets from the state, prompting criticism from a progressive advocacy group that studied charter-school finances around the state.

The complicated financial arrangement also involves a school-affiliated trust company spending more than $7 million last year to buy a building valued at less than $2 million.

The liberal advocacy group ProgressOhio attacked the size of the rent payments at charter schools operated in Toledo and other Ohio cities by Imagine Schools Monday as excessive. Imagine is a national for-profit educational management company.

According to ProgressOhio, Imagine’s subsidiary, Schoolhouse Finance, collected at least $14.4 million in public money last year for the company’s 17 Ohio schools. Of that, $8.9 million covered rent for long-term leases to Schoolhouse Finance. The $5.5 million balance went to pay “indirect costs” to Imagine to provide management services.

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