Source: The Washington Post
By: Emma Brown
Date: March 24, 2015

Journalists, auditors and other investigators have turned up more than $80 million in charter school fraud in California to date, according to a new report by a coalition of advocacy organizations, which argues that lax oversight of the state’s charter schools is leaving taxpayer dollars vulnerable to abuse.

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“Despite the tremendous investment of public dollars and the size of its charter school population, California has failed to implement a system that proactively monitors charters for fraud, waste and mismanagement,” says the report.

It was released Tuesday by the Center for Popular Democracy, an advocacy group that has published several studies of state-level charter-school fraud; the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Institute, an organization that works on issues including housing and education; and Public Advocates Inc., a nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization.

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“There simply isn’t enough oversight to prevent a huge amount of fraud in the charter sector, and that’s unacceptable,” said Hilary Hammell, a lawyer for Public Advocates. “That’s unacceptable because it’s vulnerable youths and their families who suffer when money that should be spent on kids at the school level instead goes elsewhere.”

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