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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Did Gary Chartrand pay politicians to steer more money to his pet charter school?

Gary Chartrand is not a mercenary like the owners of Charter Schools USA, who are looking to make a buck. No, he’s a zealot, he hates public schools and the unionized teachers that work in them. He is a smart zealot too, he knows if he gives tens of thousands to select politicians they will reward his KIPP school with millions.

The Jacksonville Children’s Commission broke with long standing precedent to send the KIPP school three quarters of a million dollars.

From the Times Union:

 In the recommendations announced Wednesday morning, Tiger Academy and KIPP Public Charter Schools were able to secure funding through their associated nonprofits. For Tiger Academy, which is recommended to receive $581,577 for both summer and afterschool, that is the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. For KIPP, which would get $752,796 for afterschool at three of its schools, the nonprofit was its own foundation, the Jacksonville Alliance for KIPP Schools.

The director of the JCC John Heymann was so outraged by this he threatened to resign. Also from the Times Union.

“As long as I’m the CEO of this place — and you guys can take that vote as soon as you want — this should not stop the original dictate of this agency to bring the expertise and the resources of outside agencies to benefit the school system, and should not philosophically become another funding arm for the public school system,” Heymann said. “By not doing this, you are opening up a Pandora’s box that will greatly change the face of JCC.”
Fast forward just a few weeks and John Heymann quit his position.

What does this have to do with KIPP? Gary Chartrand donated tens of thousands of dollars to Lenny Curry and the pacs that helped elect him. This break from routine also had to be approved by the city’s general counsel who serves at the pleasure of the mayor. I can imagine the conversation now.

GC: “Lenny what do you want me to do?”
LC: Checks bank account, “approve it.”

Then Chartrand did the same thing with Jason Fischer, he funneled tens of thousands of dollars into his campaigns and pacs, and he introduced a bill to give KIPP another million in tax payer dollars.

Millions of public dollars, broken precedents, tens of thousands in campaign contributions to select politicians, this is an episode of House of Cards.

The bottom line is politicians Chartrand supports end up funneling millions of tax payer dollars into his pet causes and that is not how things are supposed to work.

Want to see how much? Go to the supervisor of elections pages and type in Chartrand


  1. I honestly can't even keep up with all of the corruption you mention in this one post. Imagine the, what should be, illegal activity we don't know about. There's a good answer to all of this get these crooked politicians and puppets out of office starting with the Lenny and Jason. What is up with the people who live in this city. Wake the heck up.

  2. Had a hilarious exchange with Becki Couch that was joining Vitti in his full throated roar on Twitter about the outrage of the Legislature's BS move to ram the budget down the Governor's throat with the school bill as the spoonful of sugar. I questioned why after years of approving charter Schools we were all now supposed to march on Tallahassee now that Jason Fischer's long con was paying off. I mentioned the Charter money that goes into School Board campaigns and Chartrand in particular. Couch got snippy and said i need to "Fact Check" I assured her i would and that these are public records and easily obtained. She shut down, blocked me from seeing her tweets. Yet I persisted.

    Thanks to this post it was all to easy to see the repeated donations she and most of the board have received over the years from Chartrand.

    How stupid are we supposed to be exactly?

    Vitti was asking where the local reporting was as his lapdog media the Times union had failed to instantly take up pitchforks (probably because the Sunday paper had already gone to press hours earlier). My question is where is the reporting on the fallout of this boards compliance with Chartrand's wishes and the paymentts made to grease the wheels?

    1. ^^^this. Tt's the school board who cried wolf(vitti included. Too little too late & they wonder why the TU editorial board is confused???