ProPublica is exploring how this new model of schooling has raised questions about public transparency and private profits.
Charter school “authorizers” are charged with making sure schools can be trusted with kids and with public money. Problem is, many lack the tools to do the job.
A top official in the New York State Comptroller's Office has urged regulators to require more transparency on charter-school finances. The response has been, well, nonexistent.
Some charters pass along nearly all their money to for-profit companies hired to manage the schools. It's an arrangement that's raising eyebrows.
It's the latest round in a fight between North Carolina regulators and a charter-school power broker who has tried to keep the financial details of his companies secret.
The schools' management company, which receives millions in public funds each year from the schools, says that the salaries paid to school administrators should be considered a trade secret.
Baker Mitchell is a politically connected North Carolina businessman who celebrates the power of the free market. Every year, millions of public education dollars flow through Mitchell’s chain of four nonprofit charter schools to for-profit companies he controls.