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Thu Apr 9, 2015, 06:42 PM

Charter financing: Study finds too little accountability in California

Every parent wishes their children will reach their highest potential to live the life they choose. We do everything in our power to make this wish a reality, and we know an extraordinary education is essential.

Fulfilling this wish is difficult, particularly in the Bay Area. When California, the eighth largest economy in the world, ranks 49th among the states in school spending, we know it's difficult for our schools to provide the best education possible.

That's why I enrolled my children in Gilroy Prep Charter School, a Navigator school that achieved the highest API score -- 978 -- in California for a first-year charter school in 2011-12. I also served on the Navigator Board for three years but recently resigned due to transparency and accountability concerns with the Charter Management Organization (CMO), a service some charters use to manage their finances.

Now I find that my concerns were not an aberration. A recent study by the Center for Popular Democracy (linked with this article at mercurynews.com/opinion) found mismanagement of funds, fraud and abuse to the tune of $80 billion, or $160,000 per child, across all California charter schools, and our state could lose another $100 million in 2015 to charter school fraud. That's enough money to pay full tuition and board for every student in California at a University of California school for four years.

full: http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_27881144/charter-financing-study-finds-too-little-accountability-california

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