Charter School Chain in Oregon Cheats Taxpayers Out of $17 Million – Can It Happen In Florida?

From the Register-Guard:

PORTLAND — Two men who started a chain of taxpayer-funded charter schools across Oregon — two of them in Lane County — have been accused of cheating the state out of $17 million.

The state Department of Justice filed a legal claim in Marion County Circuit Court against Tim King and Norm Donohoe, accusing them of racketeering and money laundering between 2007 and 2010, The Oregonian newspaper reported Saturday.

The state wants the men to reimburse the $17 million and pay another $2.7 million for breach of contract plus attorney fees and other costs.

King and Donohoe opened a Clackamas-based nonprofit organization called EdChoices and operated at least 10 charter schools, most under the name AllPrep. They existed under agreements with the school boards in Estacada, Sisters, Baker City, Sheridan, Burns and Marcola, but students from across the state were enrolled in online programs.

Prosecutors allege that King and Donohoe submitted false records about how many students were enrolled and how they spent state money.

Read the rest here

With news yesterday that Maverick’s charter schooled bilked taxpayers in the same fashion, it should be clear to Florida legislators that charter schools  need more local oversight – not less. But with a handful of legislators having financial interest in charter schools and as rich charter school operators are big contributors to republicans, there’s little hope change.


About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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2 Responses to Charter School Chain in Oregon Cheats Taxpayers Out of $17 Million – Can It Happen In Florida?

  1. Jupiter Mom says:

    Many who support Charters will just say more oversight is needed to prevent this- problem solved. What happens to the kids when Charters are caught with their hand in the proverbial jar? So, we’ll catch them more often and close them. This puts families and children scrambling to find a proper placement. Often it means going back to the public school they were unhappy with in the first place. Rather than spend all this on Charters, shouldn’t we first make every effort to truly improve our current schools?

  2. grumpyelder says:

    In theory you’re absolutely correct Jupiter Mom- But the critics will point out that; over the last 50 years we’ve spent tens, if not hundreds of billions trying to fix what we have….

    Every-time a good salesman (woman) like Rhee, Hammond Darling, Ayers, Jeb Bush, Mike Klonsky or Bill Gates comes along with a new theory, taxpayer money ends up getting pumped in their direction.. Even Gates expects to eventually get a big return on his investment.

    Just read that one of the latest plans to come out of the Hammond Darling crowd of experts is a math program the Soviets ditched in the 1950’s — Instead of that maybe we should borrow the Soviet program for dealing with self styled experts who’s schemes don’t work–

    That would drastically reduce the number of experts trying to get their hands in the taxpayer cookie jar…

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