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Make Charters — Not Taxpayers — Pay for Closed Schools

Donald Cohen

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Cashing in on Kids, a joint project of In the Public Interest and the American Federation of Teachers, is working to ensure that parents, teachers, students and taxpayers continue to have a strong voice in how we run our schools and educate our nation’s children. Below is an action that needs your attention. 

The FBI is currently investigating Concept Schools, Inc., a charter management company, which operates 19 schools in the state of Ohio. The federal investigation is for “white-collar crime,” self-dealing, and misusing federal money meant for the neediest students.

Given the seriousness of the allegations, it is likely that all 19 Concept charter schools will be shut down, but too often this puts taxpayers on the hook for the schools’ liabilities and debts.

Can you sign our petition today and help us protect taxpayers from any more grief and costs created by Concept Schools? 

That’s why we are demanding that both the Ohio Board of Education and the Ohio Department of Education take the necessary steps to protect taxpayers’ and students’ interests against further wrongdoing on the part of Concept Schools.

Total enrollment in Concept Schools in Ohio is nearly 6,700 students and is funded by $48.5 million from state taxpayers. Working men and women in Ohio should not be forced to spend a single dime due to the potential closure of Concept Schools as the result of its own misconduct.

State education officials have the power under Ohio law to take back control of Concept Charters as the schools’ sponsor and require that each of the 19 Concept Schools post a “bond payable to the state or to file with the state superintendent a guarantee, which shall be used to pay the state any moneys owed by the community school in the event the schools closes.”

Please add your voice to those of parents, students and taxpayers across the country upset by poor oversight over charter schools and demand that we take back control of our schools. It is time that for-profit charter school operators like Concept Schools be held accountable and pay for their own wrongdoing, instead of taxpayers footing the bill. 

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