Monday, June 16, 2014

Much At Stake With Charter School Legislation

by Gary Snyder

Since some charter schools are not disclosing that they are entering contracts with related parties which may or not be fair and failing to disclose conflicts of interest to the school’s board of directors apparent fraud has resulted.  

Because the D.C. attorney general has accused charter school leaders of schemes to divert millions of tax dollars to private companies they owned, the D.C. Public Charter School Board is seeking legislative changes that would give it greater authority to examine the records of some of the organizations that manage the city’s charter schools.

The charter board also is looking to tighten standards that charter schools must meet to sign contracts with “related parties,” such as school founders, school employees, members of the board of directors and their relatives.
While the move indicates that the charter board wants more transparency, it also shows that city officials often don’t know how management companies are spending tax money that is meant for students’ benefit.
The D.C. attorney general in October sued three former managers of Options Public Charter School for allegedly funneling more than $3 million from the school to two for-profit companies they owned. In May, the attorney general sued the founder of another charter school, Community Academy, alleging that he enriched himself by creating a shell management company that was paid more than $13 million in taxpayer dollars for work largely performed by school employees. This month, The D.C. Attorney General filed a lawsuit alleging that the founder of a D.C. public charter school diverted millions of dollars to a for-profit company he owns.
This in spite that the charter board had given a clean bill of financial health to both schools in June 2013, finding “no patterns of fiscal mismanagement” at either, according to a charter board report. (source)

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Charity Navigator, Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio (NPR), Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), “Betrayal”, (a movie), NBC (on Charity Fraud…TBD), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Marie Claire, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, Charity Navigator, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, Board Room Insider, USA Today Topics, Accountants News,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times, Portfolio Magazine, The Virgin Islands Daily News, NANKAI (China) BUSINESS REVIEW, National Religious Broadcasters newsletter, The Charity Governance Blog, American Chronicle, Palm Beach Post, Detroit Free Press, Oakland Press, Nonprofit World, Socially Responsible Business Forum, PNNOnline, Ohio Nonprofit Resources, Nonprofit Good Practice Guide, Nonprofit Startup Guide, Nonprofit Blog, National Coalition of Homeless Newsletter, Finance and Administration Roundtable Newsletter,, CORP! Magazine, Crain’s Michigan Nonprofit,, PhilanTopic, Nashville Free Press, Nonprofit Law Blog, Seniors World Chronicle, Carnegie Reporter, Assoc. of Certified Fraud Examiners Examiner,, Worchester (MA) Telegram and Gazette, Carnegie Corporation of America, EO Tax Journal, Wikipedia: Non-profit Organizations; Parent: Wise Austin, Accountants News, Veterans Today,, Far-roundtable, #Nonprofit Report, nonprofithelpnews, nonprofit news; National Enquirer, Northwest Herald, The HelpWise Daily, The #Nonprofit Report, Wikipedia (Nonprofit Organization),, Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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