Just over two weeks ago, Mavericks Charter School president Frank Biden was talking smack to charter school opponents that “we are going to take you down.” While the rogue brother of the vice president was proposing to “look his enemies in the eyes” through another billionaire-funded 501(C)(4), he didn’t mention that three of his schools were scamming taxpayers and failing kids. Writes Sun-Sentinel reporter Karen Yi:
Three charter schools could owe the state as much as $1.5 million for failing to provide sufficient instructional hours during the day and receiving funds for ineligible students.
School Board members on Wednesday expressed concerns they may ultimately have to pay it.
“If [these charters] close, how do we recoup that money?” asked School Board member Robin Bartleman.
A recently released state audit found the school district might have to repay as much as $1.7 million. The bulk of that — $1.5 million — was incurred by Mavericks High of North Broward in Pompano Beach, Mavericks High of Central Broward in Fort Lauderdale and North University High in Lauderhill.
All three charters, which are privately run public schools, appealed the findings.
Well, of course they do. And the usual suspects are predictably incredulous.
“We think it’s a misunderstanding of the application of state statute,” said Gary Resnick, an attorney for the company that manages North University High.
Lauren Hollander, CEO for Mavericks in Education, said both Mavericks campuses “provided in excess of the 900 hours required.”
Broward will essentially be “loaning” Mavericks the money as “it will be docked from the district’s funds for the following fiscal year.”
Maverick’s has a stealth ally in Broward superintendent Robert Runcie who attempted to smooth things over by saying he will be proposing to the legislature that charter schools like Mavericks have a “line of credit as a financial safeguard.” No chance Runcie, a graduate of the anti-public school Broad Academy, would want to hold a charter school accountable. He, moreover, is all-in on the Mavericks model of online education and technology-based education by committing 3200 Broward fifth graders at 27 elementary schools to digital education.