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Monday, June 19, 2017

Supporters of charters have to take responsibility for all their fraud and failure

The founder of two Duval and fifteen Florida charter schools, Marcus May is in big trouble, accused of stealing money from Florida's taxpayers and children and a local politician, Scott Shine and business leader, Gary Chartrand because of their charter school advocacy are partly responsible. 

Why do I single out Chartrand and Shine when there are many republican politicians and "business leaders" who advocate for charters?

Scott Shine recently said he is okay with a massive expansion of charters because union teachers would lose their jobs and Gary Chartrand has spent tens of thousands of dollars to elect charter friendly politicians. 

But to be honest anybody who has advocated for charters and their loose restrictions is also partly responsible. 

That doesn't absolve Chartrand and Shine though because of they really cared about our public schools and children, instead of advocating for more charters they would be advocating for both less and serious restrictions on those that remain. 

From the Times Union:

The founder of a charter school company that managed two schools in Jacksonville was charged Monday, along with a business partner, with racketeering and organized fraud allegedly involving 15 charter schools in Florida.

Prosecutors say Marcus May, owner of Newpoint Education Partners, is accused of misusing and co-mingling charter school money, as well as taking excessive payments and “kickback” fees, and spending the proceeds on such things as cruises, numerous trips to foreign countries, plastic surgery, home mortgages and a personal watercraft.
“May obtained more than $1 million of public funds from a pattern of thefts from the state department of education, six school districts and 15 Newpoint-managed charter schools,” said District 1 State Attorney Bill Eddins, in a prepared statement.
In total, Newpoint’s charter schools in Florida received $57 million from the state and from six school districts, including Duval, between 2007 and 2016, the affidavit attached to the charges states.
I can't say for a fact how all of the Newport Charter schools did but I can say the two on Sunbeam, San Jose Academy and San Jose Preparatory High schools grossly under perform when compared to other schools in the area as many charter schools do.
More outrageous is Tallahassee has just passed a massive expansion of charters supported by local business man Gary Chartrand and School board member Scott Shine which guarantee more of above, more fraud, waste and more kids getting a substandard education.
Over 350 charter schools have closed in Florida so what does Tallahassee do? They set aside 130 million dollars of crony capitalism for more expansion. What a %$#^ing travesty. 
More from the Times Union, but make sure you are sitting when you read it because its outrageous.
The new charges go beyond last year’s indictment, said Russell Edgar, assistant state attorney on the case, because they involve more charter schools and counties. “We thought this was not an isolated case,” he said. “It appears to be a pattern throughout the state.”
He said May used Newpoint to convince parents and others to start charter schools, form nonprofit corporations and take positions on school governing boards. (Charter schools are public schools run by non-public boards rather than elected school board members.)
These charter board members had little or no experience operating schools or handling bookkeeping, payroll or facilities, according to the affidavit.
May, through Newpoint, charged the charter schools a management fee of 18 percent of whatever the state sent the schools in per-student funding, plus his expenses, the affidavit says.
Instead of expanding charters we should be calling for a moratorium on them before more of above happens, because we all know it will.

1 comment:

  1. Shine & Fischer will say fraud, waste, and abuse are just the cost of doing business. Don't let a few bad apples spoil it for the rest of us...