PARENTS   ADVOCATING   SCHOOL  ACCOUNTABILITY 

News Articles on Charter School Problems

Why post just articles about problems? Because a number of well-funded charter-school advocacy organizations compile and publicize articles showing charter schools in a positive light. Neither PASA's archive nor theirs gives a complete picture, but PASA's provides a small measure of balance. Disclaimer: PASA is an entirely volunteer project, with no income, budget or paid employees. The charter school advocacy groups are, of course, well funded and fully staffed.

March 26, 2007 Orlando (Flor.) Sentinel An Orlando Sentinel special report:
Charter Schools: Missing the Grade

Florida is home to more than 300 charter schools – public schools funded by your tax dollars but run by groups, such as cities, nonprofits or management companies. Some operators are steeped in education experience, while others have no academic credentials. Many charter schools enjoy good reputations. But scores of them continue getting education dollars despite records of low student achievement and financial mismanagement. A yearlong investigation by the Orlando Sentinel found that the state's lack of oversight has allowed students to fail academically and charter operators to profit from their relationships with the schools. This series looks at student performance, charter-school spending and what the state is doing – or not doing – to hold the campuses accountable.
 
September 15, 2007 Dallas News EVEN WITH AIRTIGHT CASE, TEA IS LAX ON CHEATING
Theresa B. Lee Academy stopped just short of erecting a neon sign declaring that it had cheated on the TAKS test. Teachers at the Fort Worth charter school offered jaw-dropping accounts of administrators writing test answers on the chalkboard, composing the students' essays and doctoring TAKS answer sheets. When state investigators sought testing paperwork, school leaders spun an elaborate yarn about a mythical flood that swept the documents away. And when the Texas Education Agency tried to track down Lee students, investigators began to suspect that some of the kids were mythical as well. The TEA had an airtight case against a school that broke almost every rule in the book – and then claimed to have lost the book in a flood. But when the state's punishment was announced this week, it amounted to little more than a tap – not even a slap – on the wrist.
 
September 14, 2007 Arizona Central.com PRINCIPAL KEEPS JOB AFTER FAILING TO REPORT MOLESTER
The son of the principal of Morningstar Academy charter school in Apache Junction allegedly molested a girl in the classroom he taught. The principal, his mother, didn’t report him and won’t help authorities find him after he skipped bail, and is still running the school. The school has been in the news after its owner was indicted on 112 counts of theft and misuse of funds in a California charter school scandal.
 
September 14, 2007 Pasadena (Calif.) Star-News Shirlee Smith: CHARTER SCHOOL FAILS TO MAKE GRADE
After Altadena’s Nia Charter School is revealed to be unaccredited, columnist describes her bad experience with the school.
 
September 14, 2007 North County (San Diego) Times SCHOOL IN FALLBROOK SHUTS DOWN FOR GOOD, RELOCATING EMPLOYEES, STUDENTS TO TEMECULA
Charter school collapses.
 
September 13, 2007 San Diego Union-Tribune PREUSS OFFICIALS ON PAID LEAVE IN GRADE PROBE
The principal of the nationally recognized Preuss School on the UCSD campus has been placed on leave while university auditors investigate allegations of grade irregularities. Since June, university auditors have been looking into reports that grades were changed and recorded inappropriately at the public charter school. Grades for the past three to four years are being reviewed. The Preuss School, known for its success in preparing poor and minority students for college, has been held up as a model of academic excellence in California and in the nation.
 
September 13, 2007 WTOL11.com (Toledo, Ohio) CHARTER SCHOOLS TRY TO FORESTALL SHUTDOWNS
Several charters threatened with shutdown for low performance.
 
September 12, 2007 Akron (Ohio) Beacon-Journal ATTORNEY GENERAL SEEKS TO CLOSE 2 CHARTER SCHOOLS
Attorney General Marc Dann filed separate lawsuits Wednesday seeking to close two charter schools, saying both had failed to meet academic standards over the past six years.
 
September 12, 2007 Fort Worth Star-Telegram STATE CONSERVATOR TO OVERSEE TAKS TESTING AT CHARTER SCHOOL
A conservator will oversee the administration of the Theresa B. Lee Academy's state assessment program after the Texas Education Agency found irregularities in the Fort Worth charter school's 2005 TAKS results.
 
September 12, 2007 Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.) Prairie Crossing board still bickering despite warning
Charter school board members can’t get along.
 
September 12, 2007 Lancaster (Penna.) Intelligencer-Journal CYBERSCHOOLS MISSING THE MARK
Online charter schools show poor achievement overall.
 
September 11, 2007 Arizona Republic OPERATOR OF VALLEY SCHOOL FACES CHARGES IN CALIFORNIA
Charter school operator charged with 56 charges of grand theft and 56 charges of misapporpriation of funds in a California charter school case is still running a charter school in Arizona.
 
September 10, 2007 New Orleans City Business EINSTEIN CHARTER FACES CLOSURE AS NONPROFIT STATUS QUESTIONED
Orleans Parish School Board could revoke lease, take control. The Louisiana Department of Education could close Einstein Charter School in eastern New Orleans for administrative improprieties this week — a first in the history of charter schools in New Orleans. The husband-wife team of Alice Midkiff and Ronald Midkiff, school director and principal, respectively, first came under fire during the 2006-07 school year amid reports of nepotism, abuse and racism.
 
September 10, 2007 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel TEACHER TURNOVER RATE CALLED A FLUKE
5 of 6 Eagleville instructors are new. Charter school’s staff attrition raises eyebrows.
 
September 10, 2007 Beaver County (Penna.) Times LINCOLN PARK $1 MILLION SHORT LAST YEAR
Charter school ran at a big deficit.
 
August 29, 2007 St. Paul Pioneer-Press TROUBLED CHARTER SCHOOL WILL CLOSE: JUDGE’S RULING ALLOWS SPONSOR TO END RELATIONSHIP WITH DAKOTA ACADEMY
Management problems at Burnsville, Minn., charter school.
 
August 28, 2007 Chicago Tribune INFIGHTING PUTS SCHOOL CHARTER IN JEOPARDY
The board of Prairie Crossing Charter School suffers from "constant, unnecessary and damaging hostility."
 
August 28, 2007 (Denver) Rocky Mountain News CHARTER TO REPAY $3 MILLION; STATE FOUND ERRORS IN SCHOOL’S RECORDS
A charter school will repay the state nearly $3 million for errors in tracking students, under an agreement announced Monday by the Colorado Department of Education.
 
August 26, 2007 New York Post CHARTER KIDS OUT OF 'HELL': 'NUTBALL' BOSS QUITS
International Leadership Charter School Principal Elaine Ruiz Lopez "allegedly wreaked havoc on education and morale."
 
August 24, 2007 San Diego Union-Tribune TROUBLED CHARTER MAY CLOSE: QUESTIONS ON MONEY AND LEADERSHIP ARISE
The attorney for the Children's Conservation Academy tells parents, students and teachers that there’s a "real possibility" the school will shut down rather than opening Monday as planned, calling the crisis "dire."
 
August 23, 2007 Salem (Mass.) News CHARTER SCHOOL LIKELY TO OPEN WITH SHORTAGE OF STUDENTS
The once-popular Marblehead Charter School is losing enrollment as turmoil makes parents wary.
 
August 21, 2007 (Denver) Rocky Mountain News SCHAFFER DENIES CONFLICT IN DENVER CHARTER SCHOOL VOTE
The Colorado Board of Education had voted to scrap the troubled Life Skills Charter School of Denver, but board member Bob Schaffer pushed to require the board to reconsider. When it was discovered that he had accepted the maximum legal donation from the charter school operators to his campaign for state Senate, conflict-of-interest charges flew.
 
August 21, 2007 Twin Falls (Idaho) Times-News STATE: IDAHO CHARTER SCHOOL VIOLATED RULES FOR SPECIAL NEED STUDENTS
Officials nail Xavier Charter School in Twin Falls for busing a special-needs student to a nearby non-charter public school without telling his mother.
 
August 20, 2007 Wheeling (W. Va.) News-Register CORRECT CHARTER SCHOOL ABUSES
Nice work — if you can get it, as they say. We’re referring to positions held by some people as board members for private charter schools in Ohio. Some of them were paid multiple times for attendance at single board meetings. In a few situations, according to a state audit, board members were paid 17 times — that’s $2,125 — for attending single meetings.

Newspaper editorial calls for higher standards.
 
August 19, 2007 Washington Post BOARD OF EDUCATION: ABSENT OVERSIGHT, OFFICIAL PROFITED: WARNING ABOUT EX-CHARTER SCHOOLS CHIEF WAS DISMISSED
Former charter school executive Brenda Belton was able to steal or illegally steer to friends more than $800,000 over three years because of nearly nonexistent oversight by an inattentive school board, an 18-month criminal investigation found.
 
August 18, 2007 Tampa Tribune PRINCE COMMUNITY ACADEMY TO BE TARDY OR ABSENT IN ’07
One day before other schools in the district start, the Prince Community Academy charter school is set to start school 20 days late. But there are questions about whether it will open at all. The school has has problems with academics, finances, discipline and permits.
 
August 17, 2007 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel CHINA ACADEMY LACKS CHINESE-SPEAKING TEACHER
CRITICAL VACANCY ON STAFF OF CHARTER SCHOOL RAISES BROADER POLICY CONCERNS

No one on the staff of the Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Language speaks Chinese.
 
August 17, 2007 Springfield, Ohio, News-Sun FOUNDER NOT AFRAID OF SCHOOL’S AUDIT FINDINGS: SCHOOL FOUND TO BE IN POOR FINANCIAL STANDING; IT ALSO DID NOT MEET ANY ACADEMIC INDICATORS OF SUCCESS
Urban Youth Academy founder Michael Ward says the audit of his charter school showed financial trouble but not embezzlement or misappropriation.
 
August 16, 2007 Cleveland Plain Dealer CHARTER SCHOOLS' GRADE: INCOMPLETE: A HANDFUL EXCEL, BUT MANY STRUGGLE
The performance of Ohio's charter schools has more peaks and valleys than a Cedar Point roller coaster.

At the peak sits a small cadre of charters, schools that have emerged as academic powerhouses and have remarkable academic success with hard-to-educate children in neighborhoods where traditional public schools have often failed. But the valleys dip especially low.
 
August 16, 2007 Dayton Daily News WITH PROCTORS IN CLASS, CITY DAY'S TEST SCORES FALL: THE CHARTER SCHOOL IS UNDER STATE INVESTIGATION FOR POSSIBLY CHEATING ON THE ACHIEVEMENT TESTS IN 2006
City Day Community School, under state investigation for possibly cheating on Ohio achievement tests in 2006, saw its scores plummet in 2007 when testing there was monitored.
 
August 15, 2007 Cleveland Plain-Dealer MINISTER CONVICTED OF STEALING SENTENCED TO 7-YEAR TERM
Ohio minister is convicted on 62 counts for stealing $1.4 million through a charter school he founded. The charter operator collected money for 650 students even though the building could hold only 150. He also used school money to buy and renovate a building, then sold it and kept the profits for himself.
 
August 15, 2007 Cincinnati Enquirer MORE AREA CHARTER SCHOOLS RATED LOW: FEWER RATED 'EXCELLENT' OR 'EFFECTIVE' BY OHIO REPORT CARD
More Cincinnati-area charter schools received low state ratings this year than last, according to the latest Ohio Report Card. Fewer were rated "excellent" or "effective," the state's highest marks, and more wound up on the lowest rungs in "academic watch" or "academic emergency.
 
August 15, 2007 Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch AUDIT RAPS CHARTER SCHOOLS; STATE CITES 'IMPROPER' RECORDS, PAYMENT ERRORS
Charter schools operated by Akron industrialist David L. Brennan paid board members multiple times for attending the same meeting -- as much as $2,125 per session, a state audit discovered.

That "abusive business practice" was among a number of findings by state Auditor Mary Taylor in a review of 19 for-profit charter schools operated by Brennan. … Taylor's audits, released yesterday, also found $2,005 in improper credit-card purchases, widespread bookkeeping errors and lack of documentation to support many expenditures. … Brennan is a major contributor to Republican political candidates and causes.
 
August 14, 2007 Florida Today Editorial
OUR VIEW: COSTLY CHALLENGE: CHARTER FIRM, NOT PALM BAY TAXPAYERS, SHOULD PICK UP TAB FOR STATE APPEAL

We warned Palm Bay residents to watch out for hidden costs when city leaders started a municipal charter school experiment three years ago. Now the bill is mounting.
 
August 13, 2007 Naples (Fla.) Daily News BONITA CHARTER TRIES TO OVERCOME THE TURMOIL: EDUCATION TAKES BACK SEAT TO RESTRAINING ORDERS, 911 CALLS TEACHER LAYOFFS, THREATS, RUMORS
Trouble at charter school.
 
August 13, 2007 Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.) FEUDING CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD SEEKS GUIDANCE FROM STATE
Illinois charter school beset by conflict among board members and accusations of a "precarious cash flow" and a "hostile and ugly" atmosphere. The charter-advocacy group Center for Education Reform recently named the school one of the nation's top charters.
 
August 12, 2007 Associated Press CHARTER-SCHOOL GROUP UNDER SCRUTINY
The president of Ohio's White Hat Management charter-school operator gave $200,000 to a Virginia political action committee that transferred $870,000 to an Ohio affiliate to help elect Republicans. The Ohio State Secretary says the transaction violated campaign laws and is investigating.
 
August 11, 2007 Dayton Daily News TRIAL DATE SET FOR FORMER SCHOOL CHIEF: EX-SUPERINTENDENT IS ACCUSED OF DISCOURAGING TEACHERS FROM REPORTING SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE
Former head of Ohio charter school is also being investigated over allegations of cheating on standardized tests.
 
August 10, 2007 The Valley Chronicle (Hemet, Calif.) BOARD, PARENTS SPAR OVER CHARTER SCHOOL CONTROVERSY: GROUPS BATTLE OVER FACILITIES, BOARD TERMS, AND PERSONNEL MEATTERS
A group of parents is accusing San Jacinto Valley Academy of mismanaging the school, while the charter school's board president calls the complaints "misinformation.
 
August 10, 2007 Washington Post DISTRICT'S EX-CHARTER SCHOOLS CHIEF ADMITS FRAUD
Brenda Belton had some gall, by her own admission. As charter school oversight chief for the D.C. Board of Education, she repeatedly stole from the school system, arranging about $649,000 in illegal school payments and sweetheart contracts to herself and her friends. Yesterday, she pleaded guilty to four felony counts of cheating the low-performing schools system over three years and trying to avoid taxes on her ill-gotten gains.
 
August 8, 2007 Cleveland Scene CORRUPTION MADE CHEAPER: IS COLORADO UNDERCUTTING THE BRIBERY MARKET?
Column accuses Ohio's largest charter school operator, White Hat Management, of bribing public officials in Ohio and Colorado. And "despite producing lower test scores than you'd get at a Klan rally or a Cleveland City Council meeting, the company has gobbled up $109 million in state tax money -- though it refuses to say where any of it went.
 
August 7, 2007 Akron Beacon-Journal CHARTER SCHOOL MONEY RECORDS CRITICIZED:
SCHOOLS WITH PROBLEMS CALLED THREAT TO OTHERS

Charter schools with poor financial records are undermining the good job that other schools are doing, state Auditor Mary Taylor told about 75 charter school officials at the University of Akron on Monday." Taylor also cites charters that are "unauditable" because their financial records are such a shambles.
 
August 6, 2007 New Orleans City Business RELATIVE CHAOS: EINSTEIN CHARTER OPERATORS UNDER FIRE FOR ALLEGED RACISM, NEPOTISM, ABUSE
Parents and faculty members accuse New Orleans' Einstein Charter School of wrongdoing.
 
August 4, 2007 Toledo Blade ALLIANCE ACADEMY TERMINATES LEADERSHIP: 4 BOARD MEMBERS ARE REPLACED
Toledo charter school's sponsor suspends its operations for academic and financial problems; new governing board fires the founder/directors.
 
August 2, 2007 North Jersey Herald News PROBATION EXTENDED FOR PATERSON CHARTER SCHOOL
New Jersey Department of Education keeps charter school on probation due to "serious management problems."
 
August 3, 2007 Jewish Week HEBREW, ARABIC SCHOOLS SEEN STRETCHING BOUNDARIES: ACADEMIES IN FLORIDA AND NEW YORK SPUR CHURCH-STATE QUESTIONS; ADL 'CONCERNED' ABOUT HOLLYWOOD (Fla.) SCHOOL RUN BY RABBI
A Jewish-oriented charter school in Florida and an Arab-focused charter school in Brooklyn are both triggering concern about whether they promote religion in public schools.
 
August 2, 2007 Marblehead (Mass.) Reporter JOB CANDIDATE TURNS TABLES ON CHARTER SCHOOL TRUSTEES
Head of Marblehead charter school has been suspended indefinitely with pay, accused of assaulting a 14-year-old female student who allegedly caught him drinking in his office. Candidate for interim replacement grills trustees about the touchy situation.
 
August 1, 2007 Gazette.net NEW GHS PRINCIPAL DEFENDS HER RECORD: CHRISTINE HANDY-COLLINS SAID SHE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH D.C. CHARTER SCHOOL'S TROUBLES
Newly hired principal of Gaithersburg High School previously ran D.C. charter school that was closed down for fiscal mismanagement.
 
July 25, 2007 Brighton (Colo.) Standard-Blade FORMER CHARTER BOARD PRESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY
An ugly chapter in local education history came to a close July 13 when the former president of the Brighton Charter High School board pleaded guilty to a count of failure to report child abuse. … Mundy's jury trial on a charge of tampering with three witnesses as well as a failure to report child abuse charge, was scheduled to begin July 18.

Mundy was swept up in a public firestorm in October when allegations surfaced that former Brighton Charter High School teacher Carrie McCandless engaged in a romantic relationship with former charter school student Tommy Clay.
 
July 24, 2007 Midland (Tex.) Reporter-Telegram VAN HOUTEN FOUND GUILTY
Teacher at charter middle school convicted of forced intercourse with student.
 
July 13, 2007 Hartford Courant HIGHVILLE PARENTS PLEASED; STATE AIMS TO RECOVER LOSSES
State officials on Thursday took the unprecedented action of seeking a receivership for the Highville Mustard Seed Charter School in Hamden, which has been marred by alleged financial mismanagement, conflict and cronyism.
 
May 5, 2007 East Bay (N. Calif.) Express Too Hot for School?
Tough-love principal Ben Chavis says it’s okay for him to use racial taunts because he’s a minority and his tactics work.

Principal of widely praised Oakland (CA) charter school is accused of racial, sexual and abusive taunts to students and visitors to the school.
 
May 5, 2007 Capital Online
Annapolis, MD
Charter school faces more probation
Charter school plagued by management and financial problems.
 
May 5, 2007 Redlands (Calif.) Daily Facts Interim director of Redlands-based charter school quits
The board of a Redlands-based charter school accused of overbilling the state $7.7 million over three years has accepted the resignation of its interim executive director.
 
May 5, 2007 Lakeland (Flor.) Ledger Overbilling suspected: STAR School Facing Closure
School Board likely to end contract over inflated enrollment figures

Charter school apparently overreported its enrollment to collect extra money.
 
May 5, 2007 Hartford Courant Charter School Closing Doors
Money Runs Out Before Year Ends

Charter school can't pay teachers and collapses without warning, leaving kids in the lurch. It suffered from underenrollment as well.
 
May 4, 2007 New Haven Register Charter school has ’til Monday to produce plan
Charter school plagued by accusations of fiscal mismanagement, misuse of funds, conflicts of interest, violations of teachers’ free speech rights and more.
 
May 4, 2007 WBAL (Baltimore) County Issues Warning To New Charter School
School plagued by charges of poor financial recordkeeping.
 
May 4, 2007 St. Petersburg Times Charter school administrator accused of child abuse
The Athenian Academy official used a belt to beat a 16-year-old relative, investigators say

Head of school says, "I was angry." The victim was not a student at the school.
 
May 2, 2007 Charlotte Observer Charter school lottery called off
Lottery falls apart over confusion, duplicate submissions.
 
May 2, 2007 Baltimore Sun Charter school faces action
Extended probation to be recommended today for Chesapeake Science Point

Charter school plagued by problems with finances, recordkeeping and services to disabled students.
 
May 2, 2007 Courier-Post
New Jersy
LEAP charter school needed reality check
Charter school caught admitting out-of-state athletes ahead of local students to boost its basketball team. Local "guardians" informally took in the outsiders.
 
May 2, 2007 Akron (Ohio) Beacon-Journal Charter school remains open
Charter school on probation for financial problems, conflicts of interest.
 
May 2, 2007 New Haven Register Highville Suspends Pair of Teachers
Police called over personnel issue at charter school already plagued by "disruptive events" and alleged financial management and misuse of funds.
 
April 3, 2007 WESH-Ch. 2 News
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Teacher Suspended, Accused Of Sexual Relations With Student
A Merritt Island teacher was suspended Tuesday while police investigate accusations of inappropriate sexual relations with a student, police say.
 
March 25, 2007 Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch Charter schools face another lawsuit
Lack of monitoring ends up hurting Ohio public schools, teachers union says

Five months after the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the state's charter-school program, another teachers union is challenging the tax-funded, privately operated schools.
 
March 24, 2007 Arizona Republic Charter scores slide despite NFL funding
$1 mil from Super Bowl got now-troubled school rolling

The 800-student school has had a more recent infusion of $9 million, but scores are sliding and the state is intervening.
 
March 24, 2007 KENS News
San Antonio, Texas
UPDATE: School official shocked by teacher's arrest
The special education director of the Por Vida Charter High School is charged with indecency with a child.
 
March 24, 2007 Los Angeles Times Charter school operation sanctions chief
The board of Gorman Learning Center, which operates in several counties, strips the official of duties after a critical audit.

Trustees of a troubled charter school operation stripped its director of his duties Thursday, days after an audit by the Los Angeles County Office of Education found widespread abuse of public funds.
 
March 24, 2007 Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union Charter school loses key leaders in dispute
Director, board member quit Rotterdam facility after administrators' contract not renewed

The local school board has also fired the charter school's manager, SABIS Educational Systems, over staffing changes and low achievement.
 
March 22, 2007 Salem (Mass.) News State meeting called to talk about future of charter school
Five of the 12 trustees of Marblehead Community Charter school have resigned over what they call failed governance within the school.
 
March 21, 2007 Florida Today Our view: Keeping charters in line
Irregularities at four Brevard schools spotlight need for strict local control

Newspaper editorial cites multiple charter school problems, calls for better oversight.
 
March 21, 2007 Florida Today District to decide fate of Explorer
Convicted felons are ordered out
 
March 20, 2007 Deseret Morning News
(Salt Lake City)
Fired principal sues charter school
Board violated law on open meetings, the lawsuit says

Chaos, controversy at brand-new charter school.
 
March 18, 2007 Zanesville (Ohio)
Times-Recorder
Charter academy closes doors, leaves students without a school
Two weeks after taking over the troubled Harte Crossroads, the school's management company told parents in a letter Friday that students should report on Monday to the public school they're assigned to in their district.
 
March 18, 2007 Pittsburgh (Penna.)
Post-Gazette
Cyber-school empire under attack
Beaver County educator fighting grand juries, suits and legislators

School's operator accused of questionable business practices, financial shenanigans.
 
March 18, 2007 St. Louis Post-Dispatch Mayor missed chance to be a leader, ease students' fears
St. Louis columnist describes tense meeting between charter-promoting Mayor Francis Slay and angry high school students. Sylvester Brown Jr. describes "the antagonistic state of affairs between those who pushed drastic school reform, state intervention and now charter schools, and those begging for inclusion in the process … and plain old respect."
 
March 17, 2007 D.C. Examiner Zoning Commission pick with ties to charter school unaware of investigation
Ties to a charter school under grand jury investigation are one of the controversies surrounding a mayoral appointee in Washington, D.C.
 
March 11, 2007 New York Post Staff 'Fires' Back at Principal/Charter Teachers: 'It's Retaliation'
Reading, writing - and wrongful firings.

That's the curriculum at a new charter school in The Bronx, where an "out of control" principal axed three teachers in a month, refused to pay the salaries of two and was found guilty of expelling students without due process, according to furious former employees.
 
March 10, 2007 San Diego Union Tribune Grossmont Fears Charter School to Take Its Students
The San Diego school district approved a charter for a school that plans to open in an unwilling neighboring district, Grossmont -- which is apparently legal. Grossmont officials say the charter will harm its district.
 
March 10, 2007 Austin American-Statesman Former Charter School Chief Indicted
Lincoln Navigators, a Cadillac and a day care center — all on the state's dime. In all, Dolores Hillyer, 70, is accused of misusing more than $550,000 in state money intended for the East Austin charter school she ran until about three years ago.
 
March 9, 2007 Associated Press Inquiries Detailed Abuse at Prisons
In a Texas scandal, after reports of alleged sexual abuse of juvenile offenders by two educators at a prison school, authorities dragged their feet on pressing charges. Meanwhile, one of the accused became principal of a charter school.
 
March 9, 2007 Sarasota Herald-Tribune Fiery Education Chief Survives Crist's Changes
New Florida governor will keep the Jeb Bush-appointed state education chief in the post. T. Willard Fair recently sparked outrage by stating publicly that he doesn't trust school districts and said they should not have power to decide whether to approve charter schools in their districts.
 
March 8, 2007 Norton (Mass.) Mirror Less State Aid Expected
This article describes the way the Massachusetts funding system means charter schools cost schools and municipalities painful fiscal losses.
 
February 28, 2007 WBIR.com
(Knoxville, Tenn.)
Second grader stripped and hit with belt in front of charter school classmates
Student's aunt pulls down his pants and beats him with a belt in front of his class. When school principal apparently doesn't react, school board can't intervene because charters are freed from burdensome bureaucratic regulations.
 
February 14, 2007 Cleveland Plain-Dealer Minister at charter school charged with cheating state of $1.3 million
Charter operator allegedly billed state for 681 students when the school never had more than 128, and used state money to buy a building that he then sold, keeping the profits.
 
February 11, 2007 San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News The mysterious saga of Sister Khadijah
DID SCHOOL MONEY FUND EXTREMISTS OR IS THIS ACTIVIST A VICTIM OF PREJUDICE?

Was Ghafur using a state-funded charter school as a source of revenue to bankroll a terrorist?
 
February 11, 2007 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Charter Schools Lag Behind in Performance
Pennsylvania's charter schools are not the miracle solution they were cracked up to be -- in fact, they're less successful than their non-charter counterparts.
 
February 10, 2007 Delaware State News School Fights to Keep Charter;
Academy of Dover's enrollment, debt concern state

Charter suffers from financial troubles, declining enrollment.
 
February 10, 2007 Chico (Calif.) Enterprise-Record Biggs District Sparring with Charter School
Rural charter school won't provide required financial information to district, doesn't show up at school meet meeting to discuss it. The charter is run by the district's former superintendent.
 
February 9, 2007 Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise Charter School in Riverside County Gets One Last Chance
EDUCATION: Rehoboth's operators are optimistic that other measurements will support them.

Charter school suffers from low achievement and operational problems.
 
February 7, 2007 Wilkes-Barre (Penna.)Times-Leader Internship Ends After Charter School Incident
College student working at charter school allegedly sprays 13-year-old with Clorox bleach, grabs him, throws him against the wall and chokes him. The principal calls the incident "horse play."
 
February 7, 2007 Vail (Colo.) Daily Police Investigating School’s Finances
Financial records scattered, charter school board members say

Money missing, enrollment inflated, school in trouble.
 
February 7, 2007 Palm Beach (Florida) Post Appeals Court Upholds Charter Schools' Rejection
Would-be charter operaters have run schools rocked by academic and financial problems, are now fighting to open more.
 
February 7, 2007 Arizona Republic Former Mesa School Worker to Repay $50,000
School employee won't face criminal charges for use of funds, but the charter school is accused of inflating enrollment, and its finances are being investigated.
 
February 6, 2007 The Coloradoan Former Brighton Teacher Released from Jail
Charter school teacher faces charges for alleged sex with a student. The accused teacher is the wife of the charter school's principal.
 
February 1, 2007 North County Times
(San Diego County, Calif.)
Charter school board fires director, grapples with deficit
Large Southern California charter is in chaos over charges of misappropriation of funds, conflict of interest and other issues.
 
February 1, 2007 Philadelphia Inquirer Report: Managers fall short in Phila. schools
Their costlier 5-year gains lag the district’s, it said.

Study co-authored by RAND finds that Philadelphia's privately managed schools didn't perform as well as the city-run schools, despite getting more funding. The privately run schools include charters, some run by controversial, for-profit Edison Schools.
 
February 1, 2007 Philadelphia Daily News District-run schools score
New study says those run by private managers fare less well.
 
January 31, 2007 Toledo Blade Toledo Performing Arts school fires director
New leaders include man convicted of fraud

The executive director of a financially troubled West Toledo charter school has been dismissed and replaced by a Maumee partnership that includes a man convicted of fraud for taking money from the United Way, his former employer.
 
January 29, 2007 Fitchburg (Mass.) Sentinel and Enterprise Report slams city charter school
North Central Charter Essential School has met none of the academic goals it set for itself when it opened five years ago, according to a recent state report. The report criticizes the school for its poor standardized test scores, incomplete curriculum, inadequate teaching materials, inconsistent expectations for student performance and ineffective leadership, textbook shortage, high turnover of teachers and trustees, and declining enrollment.. (But they're still renewing the charter -- hey, what's not to like?)
 
January 29, 2007 Fitchburg (Mass.) Sentinel and Enterprise Ex-trustees: NCCES principal forced out
Conflict and chaos at Massachusetts charter school.
 
January 25, 2007 Contra Costa (Calif.) Times Reluctantly, School Board Approves Charter Expansion
Trustees cite lack of legal ground to deny plan at Livermore school

Livermore school board members feel forced by law to OK charter school expansion, against their will. Board member Kate Runyon: "I'm going to vote yes. It's the legal thing. It's not the right thing."
 
January 24, 2007 Contra Costa (Calif.) Times Charter schools eye better sites
Officials say facilities not adequate for students; district is trying to find space but proposals have been voted down

School districts scramble to find sites for charters; existing high schools are being forced to share their space.
 
January 20, 2007 Pittsburgh
Tribune-Review
State: Funds to School Not Halted
A Midland, PA, arts charter school is being investigated for allegedly providing no academic curriculum to students and instead sending them to other schools for academic classes. State officials say they are not blocking the school's funding while they investigate.
 
January 19, 2007 CBS-4.com
(Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL)
School Board Member Charged For Lewd Acts On Child
Marion Faldas is on the board of Doctors Charter School

South Florida charter school board member charged with molestation of one youth and faces allegations of molesting three more.
 
January 17, 2007 Melrose (MA)
Free Press
Charter School Funding: Mayor Claims Funding Inequitable; Charter School Officials Point to State Reimbursement
Massachusetts is required to pay nearly 50% more per charter pupil than it does for other students.
 
January 14, 2007 Albany (N.Y)
Times-Union
Put Brakes on Charter Schools
Columnist from a district that has "been burned by" charter-school problems voices concern about calls for more charters.
 
January 14, 2007 Albany (N.Y)
Democrat-Herald
Teacher's Aide Indicted in Ritalin Case
Charter school aide accused of trading a 17-year-old whiskey for his Ritalin pills.
 
January 11, 2007 Denver Post Cole Charter School Set for Closure
Here's an easy way for KIPP to keep its achievement high -- shut down its less successful schools and dump them back onto school districts. But how is that a solution for public education?
 
January 11, 2007 Metropolitan (Los Angeles)
News-Enterprise
C.A. (Court of Appeals) Revives Sex Harassment Suit Against Charter School
A legal twist in a lawsuit by a student who charged a charter-school teacher with embarrassing her with "sexual innuendo and profanity" when she visited the school as an 8th-grader.
 
January 10, 2007 KTVU.com Coach Allegedly Hit Kids' Groins, Showed Porn
Children Say He Poured Water on them in Cold Weather

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that Gregory Lynn Burr, 28, is accused of regularly hitting players in the groin, exposing them to pornography, and pouring water on them when the weather was cold.
 
January 10, 2007 Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel Felton Teacher Found Out in Identity Case
Charter school director pleads guilty to impersonating teacher at her school to get personal information about the teacher.
 
January 9, 2007 Dayton (Ohio) Daily News Former Kindergarten Teacher Held on Sex Count
Charter school teacher charged with sex crimes against a 7-year-old.
 
January 9, 2007 Riverside Press-Enterprise Charter School Director Rebuts Board's Charges
Administrator is accused of misusing public funds.
 
January 6, 2007 Salt Lake Tribune Charter School Head Quits Amid Scrutiny
School's founder resigns amid questions about ethical and financial impropriety.
 
January 6, 2007 San Diego Union-Tribune Harbinger of Charter School's Failure Ignored
Editorial: With one phone call to Ohio's state auditor – or simply a Google search – the San Diego Unified School District could have learned that Donna Johnson, seeking a charter for the Jola Community School in Mount Hope, had just left a long record of financial chaos in her operation of the Imani Institute Leadership School, her previous charter school in Cleveland. ... Now Johnson owes the San Diego district $162,516 in funding for Jola [Charter School), which folded in fall 2005 after two months' operation...
 
January 5, 2007 Utah Daily Herald Police Called to School Meeting
Brouhaha over firing of charter school headmaster who was accused of insubordination and mistreating an autistic student.
 
January 3, 2007 Los Angeles Daily News Charter School is in Default on $9.9 Million LAUSD Loan
The acclaimed Accelerated School (where L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa delivered last year's State of the City address) defaults on loan to school district. State Board of Education Member Jonathan Williams is the school's founder and co-director.
 


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