ProPublica: When Charters are Nonprofit in Name Only

Diane Ravitch's blog

Marian Wang of ProPublica reports on a curious phenomenon in the charter sector: “nonprofit” charters that are run by for-profit corporations.

“A couple of years ago, auditors looked at the books of a charter school in Buffalo, New York, and were taken aback by what they found. Like all charter schools, Buffalo United Charter School is funded with taxpayer dollars.

“The school is also a nonprofit. But as the New York State auditors wrote, Buffalo United was sending ” virtually all of the School’s revenues” directly to a for-profit company hired to handle its day-to-day operations.

“Charter schools often hire companies to handle their accounting and management functions. Sometimes the companies even take the lead in hiring teachers, finding a school building, and handling school finances.

“In the case of Buffalo United, the auditors found that the school board had little idea about exactly how the company – a large…

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