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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Charter school bilks taxpayers out of 17 million

From Scathing Purple Musings by Bob Sykes

From the Register-Guard:
PORTLAND — Two men who started a chain of taxpayer-funded charter schools across Oregon — two of them in Lane County — have been accused of cheating the state out of $17 million.
The state Department of Justice filed a legal claim in Marion County Circuit Court against Tim King and Norm Donohoe, accusing them of racketeering and money laundering between 2007 and 2010, The Oregonian newspaper reported Saturday.
The state wants the men to reimburse the $17 million and pay another $2.7 million for breach of contract plus attorney fees and other costs.
King and Donohoe opened a Clackamas-based nonprofit organization called EdChoices and operated at least 10 charter schools, most under the name AllPrep. They existed under agreements with the school boards in Estacada, Sisters, Baker City, Sheridan, Burns and Marcola, but students from across the state were enrolled in online programs.
Prosecutors allege that King and Donohoe submitted false records about how many students were enrolled and how they spent state money.
With news yesterday that Maverick’s charter schooled bilked taxpayers in the same fashion, it should be clear to Florida legislators that charter schools  need more local oversight – not less. But with a handful of legislators having financial interest in charter schools and as rich charter school operators are big contributors to republicans, there’s little hope change.

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