Weeks after Federico “Fred” d’Escoto stepped down from the board of the United Neighborhood Organization, his company, d’Escoto Inc., got its first check from the influential charter-school operator toward what now totals more than $1.8 million in state-funded payments.But d’Escoto Inc.’s ties to UNO — part of a pattern of insider hiring now under scrutiny by state authorities — date back years before that, internal documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show.
“More money from clout-heavy Hispanic group UNO went to insider.” Chicago Sun Times (IL), 4/22/2013
“Falun Gong follower behind attempt to open six charter schools.” New York Daily News, 3/6/2013
A follower of a controversial Chinese movement whose last attempt to open a school was rejected is now seeking approval for six bilingual charters — even though her name isn’t on the application.
“East Bay teacher duct taped boy's mouth shut,claim alleges.” Contra Costa Times (CA), 2/20/2013
ANTIOCH -- The family of an 8-year-old boy filed a claim Tuesday alleging the boy's third-grade teacher duct-taped his mouth shut and that another teacher punished him by placing a chair over him and sitting on it in separate incidents earlier this school year.
“Fine Print: Newark Charter School Revocation.” NJ Spotlight (NJ), 4/16/2013
What it is: The state Department of Education yesterday released its letter to the 100 Legacy Academy Charter School in Newark, informing the school that its state charter had been revoked after just seven months of operation...
“Charter school gets too much state funding.” KOAT (Albuquerque, NM), 12/4/2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Target 7 learned a new charter academy grossly overestimated its enrollment numbers, and now the school will have to pay the state back for money it didn’t deserve.The William and Josephine Dorn Charter Community School sits at the Eastern Edge of the South Valley. According to the state’s Legislative Finance Committee, the academy received more state money than it was owed for the entire year because it estimated it would have 90 students when it actually had nine...
Bank foreclosing on former charter school property.” Indianapolis Business Journal (IN), 2/25/2013
Old National Bank is suing the operator of a charter school that closed last summer in Indianapolis, claiming it failed to pay off the $1.8 million balance on its mortgage.
“Four Texas charter school proposals contain copied passages.” Dallas Morning News (TX), 2/0/2013
Four groups vying to open Texas charter schools turned in applications last year that had sections copied from other applications, even claiming parts of another school’s public hearing summary as their own...
“Sherwood parents intend to file claim against Sherwood Charter School.” The Oregonian (OR), 3/15/2013
Three parents of current and former students at Sherwood Charter School intend to file a tort claim against the school.In a letter of intent dated March 15, the parents' attorney alleges the school board did not protect students against a fellow student's death threats, threats of sexual assault and violence...
“Proposed Bangor charter school linked to Turkish imam.” Portland Press Herald (ME), 2/17/2013
A proposed charter school to be based in Bangor is tied into an informal worldwide network of religious, cultural and education institutions operated by followers of a controversial and reclusive Turkish imam, Fethullah Gulen.The Queen City Academy Charter School was one of four proposed taxpayer-financed charter schools whose applications were denied last month by the state charter school commission, but the school intends to reapply at a future date...
“'A factory of excellence'? Charter school’s international basketball team raises oversight questions.” NC Policy Watch, 1/28/2013
A Winston-Salem charter school has become an unlikely basketball powerhouse in recent years, winning three national high school championships and sending more than a dozen former players on to Division 1 colleges.But the success of Quality Education Academy‘s boys basketball team rests on a strategy prohibited at most public schools—recruiting top players throughout the nation and world.
“Police: 3 charged with felony injury to 7th grader who wanted to use the bathroom.” KHOU (TX), 3/7/2013
HUMBLE, Texas -- Three staffers of a Humble-area charter school are facing felony injury to a child charges after allegedly over-disciplining a seventh grade girl."Her arm was bent behind her back in a way that her wrist was up by her shoulder blades pretty high on her back," said Humble Police Department Det. Jackie Blanchard, the lead investigator in the case...
“After appeals process, Midlands Math and Business Charter will close.” WIS TV (SC), 3/20/2013
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Richland One School Board voted three years ago to revoke the charter of the Midlands Math and Business Academy. During the appeals process, the school has been operating without a charter. Now the courts have sided with the district, forcing the school to close next week...
“Charter school demand in Mass. Disputed.” Boston Globe (MA), 4/8/2013
A state tally showing more than 53,000 students on charter school waiting lists is overstating demand, according to a Globe review of state data.The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, in tallying the waiting lists statewide and for many individual communities, including Boston, frequently counts the same students more than once.
“Revoked Charter School Remains Open, SLED Investigating.” WLTX (SC), 3/18/2013
Sumter, SC (WLTX) -- Classes continued Monday at a Sumter school with a revoked charter and a restraining order.Now SLED says it is also investigating the school for impropriety.
“NOPD says feds now looking into 2011 embezzlement from Lusher Charter School.” The Lens (LA), 4/17/2013
The New Orleans Police Department is working with federal investigators in an embezzlement case from 2011 at Lusher Charter School that so far has led to no charges against the admitted embezzler...Lauren Hightower, a former accountant at the Uptown school, was discovered by administrators to have forged signatures on checks adding up to $25,800. The investigation into her activities is focused on the forgeries...
“Audit shows Las Montañas Charter's repeat accounting problems.” Las Cruces Sun-News (NM), 2/8/2013
LAS CRUCES — Las Montañas Charter School again has accounting difficulties and faces revocation of its charter, a year after budget problems threatened to shut down the school.
“Teacher's arrest begs more questions.” La Crosse Tribune (WI), 1/31/2013
School administrators had few answers Wednesday for why Jason David Barker — a convicted felon and special-education teacher now charged with molesting his students — was able to land job after job at area charter and private schools.
“Mercer County charter school executive director fined.” Pittsburg Tribune (PA), 3/26/2013
The Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission on Tuesday fined the executive director of a Mercer County charter school for leasing properties he and his family controlled for the school's use without board approval.
“Charter school's entry fee is illegal.” Houston Chronicle (TX), 4/10/2013
Houston Gateway Academy, a public charter school that serves mostly low-income families, was charging parents fees to enroll their children in violation of state law, according to the Texas Education Agency.Applicants to the school received a letter saying the fee - $100 for one child or $200 per family - was required for students to land a reserved spot next fall...
“School board: Fulton Science Academy appeal must wait till May, June.” NorthFulton.Com (GA), 4/14/2013
FULTON COUNTY, Ga. – With May 23 the final day of school in Fulton County, it appears probable a decision on the future of the Fulton Science Academy High School will come just days before that date, putting in flux the academic plans for hundreds of high school students.
“Another failed Orlando charter 'a disaster' for students, teachers.” Orlando Sentinel (FL), 3/4/2013
It was clear to teachers at the Einstein Montessori School in Orlando that something was very wrong when school opened for business last fall.There were no computers for student use. And although the school focused on students with dyslexia, there were no reading texts.
“‘Extensive inappropriate activity’ found at Delaware Military Academy.” NewsWorks, WHYY News, 2/20/2013
A state audit discovered excessive personal reimbursements were given to the DMA's superintendent Jack Wintermantel.
“Charter school officials to appear in court for allegedly spending $148K in school funds.” WCPO TV (Cinncinati, OH), 04/05/2013
CINCINNATI - Two members of a Cincinnati charter school are scheduled to appear in court Friday morning after they allegedly stole more than $148,000 in taxpayer dollars from school coffers.
“Newton charter school owes $165K for insurance, rent.” Newton Citizen (GA), 3/27/2013
COVINGTON -- Challenge Charter Academy owes about $165,000 to local and state groups.The Georgia Department of Community Health, which provides state health insurance benefits for employees, notified the school and Newton County Board of Education on Monday about the school's delinquency of $116,477.57. The department also notified the state Board of Education and the Georgia Charter School Commission about the matter, according to a letter sent to the school...
A group of Phoenix charter schools is facing criticism for using a teaching tool based on the work of L. Ron Hubbard, best known for founding the Church of Scientology.Teacher Katie Donahoe says that shortly after she was hired in 2010, she went to a memorable training session on the teaching method, called Applied Scholastics. The session was held at the Applied Scholastics headquarters near St. Louis...
“Charlotte charter school can’t open because of plagiarism allegation.” Charlotte Observer (NC), 3/7/2013
Cameron Creek Charter won’t be allowed to open in east Charlotte this year, based on accusations that it cut and pasted large parts of its application from another Charlotte proposal.
“Charter management firm charging huge rent markups to charter schools.” New York Post (NY), 4/30/2012
A for-profit education firm is soaking taxpayers by subleasing buildings to the Brooklyn public charter schools it runs at astronomical rates — including one at an incredible 1,000 percent markup, sources said.
“NY charter school official admits embezzling $203K.” Associated Press, 3/27/2013
ALBANY (AP) --The former chief financial officer of a foundation that funds charter schools in Albany has admitted embezzling almost $203,000 from the organization.
“Ben Mays families lament loss of community as charter is pulled.” The Lens (LA), 2/14/2013
[Benjamin Mays Preparatory School] is one of four charters in transition this year. The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted in December to strip the school of its charter because of low academic performance. Three other charters, Pride College Prep, Crocker Arts and Technology School and Intercultural Charter School, also were not renewed. But other operators agreed to run those schools, giving enrolled students priority. Though another school will be at the Mays site next year — Akili Academy — Akili is moving from its former location, not expanding, and it will enroll its own students first. That means Mays’ students will be dispersed to schools across the city...
“Portland charter school, ousted founder settle legal dispute.” Maine Sunday Telegram (ME), 4/10/2013
PORTLAND — Portland’s first charter school and its founder, who was fired by the board of directors, have settled their legal disputes, both parties announced Tuesday...