10 January 2019

More Financial Hanky-Panky At Arizona Charter Schools

Here's some more good probing and more in-depth investigative reporting from Craig Harris writing for The Arizona Republic . . .
Following the abrupt closure of at least three Arizona charter schools over the past year, a new report concludes more than 100 of the state's charters are in danger of closing because of excessive debt and other financial troubles. . .
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The report [see underlined link] from the Grand Canyon Institute: you can save a download it to read the entire report, but here's what Craig Harris published
It's a "near certainty" that more than  50 of the state's 544 charter schools will close in the near future, according to the report by the Grand Canyon Institute, a self-described centrist think tank.
As a whole, Arizona's 544 charter schools owe more to creditors than they're worth as businesses contracted with the state to educate kindergarten to 12th-grade students, the report states. "Like any business, an overleveraged charter is financially vulnerable and could fail if it then suffers an income loss," the report states.
"You will see a bunch of charters folding suddenly," said Curt Cardine, the study's main author and a former charter executive for EdKey Inc., a large Arizona charter chain that had a $7.74 million net deficit as of June 30, 2018. . . 
The report, the third from the group on charter schools, follows a year-long Arizona Republic investigation that examined how minimal state regulation and oversight has produced multi-millionaire charter operators — sometimes through transactions that add significantly to the schools' debt. . .
Differing opinions from state's charter groups
Kathy Senseman, chairwoman of the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, which regulates the schools, disputed that so many charters will close, saying Grand Canyon Institute's estimates are "a little inflated."
But, she said, she considers the institute's research to be "fair."
Arizona Charter Schools Association, a non-profit that represents the industry, was less diplomatic, calling the report “The Grand Canyon Institute’s latest unsubstantiated, anti-charter screed."
READ MORE by going to the underlined link at the top of this post  
 


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