The federal government shelled out $3.3 billion over the past 20 years to launch new charter schools nationwide, yet failed to monitor how that money was used, a new report has found.
Federal spending to launch charter schools zoomed from a mere $4.5 million in 1995 to more than $253 million today, according to the Center for Media and Democracy, a liberal watchdog group — with President Obama now asking Congress for a whopping increase to $375 million for next year.
And that’s on top of billions of dollars state governments spend for charter school operations.
Yet the new report concludes there is “no systematic public accounting for how the federal budget allocated to charters is actually being spent,” and “major gaps in the law allowing waste and fraud.”
The U.S. Department of Education doesn’t even bother to keep a public record of which charter schools get money from more than a half-dozen federal programs, said Lisa Graves, director of the Center for Media and Democracy. Her organization had to review thousands of pages of documents obtained through Freedom of Information Law requests before it could coming up with an initial tally of federal charter school spending.
Hundreds of millions handed out to charter operators and entrepreneurs with no way to know how they're spending the money.
Again and again, we see that accountability is only for public schools.