Education Industry For-Profit Fraud Indiana Virtual Charter Schools

Steve Hinnefeld: Will Virtual Charter Schools Repay Indiana for Miseducation?

Interesting essay samples and examples on: https://essays.io/dissertation-examples-samples/

Perhaps you recall when Betsy DeVos testified at her Senate hearing about her worthiness to be Secretary of Education. Among her most memorable lines was her fulsome praise of virtual charter schools. This was both sad and hilarious, coming as it did more than a year after the Walton-funded CREDO at Stanford released a report finding that a year at a virtual charter school was akin to not going to school at all (students in these schools lost the equivalent of 72 days in reading and a full year in math).

Over the past few years, there have been several major virtual charter school scandals involving the loss of many millions of dollars (the EPIC scandal in Oklahoma, the Pennsylvania CyberCharter School scandal, the A3 scandal in California, the ECOT scandal in Ohio).

Now Steve Hinnefeld writes about a virtual charter school scandal in Ohio.

He writes:

A Hamilton County court hearing this week may determine whether Indiana taxpayers have a chance to recover $154 million from two virtual charter schools and their leaders and business partners.

The hearing, set for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday before Hamilton Superior Court Judge Michael Casati, concerns motions to dismiss a lawsuit to recover charter school funds that were allegedly obtained by fraud or improperly spent.

Attorney General Todd Rokita filed the suit in July 2021 on behalf of the state. Defendants include the schools — Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy — and several of their officers and employees. Also named are businesses that were affiliated with the schools.

The lawsuit relies on an investigation by the State Board of Accounts, the findings of which were released in early 2020. Auditors found that the online schools inflated their enrollment or failed to ensure students were being taught, resulting in overpayment of more than $68 million by the state. Auditors also identified more than $85 million in improper payments to vendors and businesses.

The schools closed in 2019 after their authorizer, Daleville School Corp. revoked their charter. The previous year, their claimed enrollment peaked at more than 7,000 students.

Problems with the schools came to light in 2017, when Chalkbeat Indiana revealed poor test scores, abysmal graduation rates and hefty payments to businesses connected to the school’s founder. Indiana Virtual School employed only one teacher per 200 students and spent just 10% of its funds on instruction, Chalkbeat found.

But the schools enjoyed political connections. They employed a state legislator as a consultant and had a retired state appeals court judge on the school board. Businesses affiliated with the schools gave $140,000 to Indiana Republican election campaigns. The schools paid a lobbying firm $300,000.

When will state legislators stop pumping money into these money pits?

Related posts

Indiana: Half of Voucher Students Never Attended Public School

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Pennsylvania: Cyber School Kingpin Gets Light Sentence for Stealing Millions and Not Reporting It on His Income Tax Forms

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Attention: I Am Stepping Back to Write a New Book

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

A Graphic Explanation: Why Corporations Want Our Public Schools

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

How Charter Schools Are Like Subprime Mortgages and May Be Heading for a “Bubble”

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Indiana Superintendent Bennett Gets Support of Far Right

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Bernie Is Right About Charters: Ravitch and Burris

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

How the Attack on Public Education Is Like the Tobacco Industry

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Four New Members Join “Chiefs for Change” to Promote Charters and Vouchers

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Leave a Comment