State charter schools program is 'out of control'

  • Article by: TONY KENNEDY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 25, 2011 - 4:04 PM

Junk bonds fuel a building spree, but schools are more crowded, insiders are taking fees, and state regulators can't do much about it.

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a1batrossNov. 29, 09 2:51 AM

Wow is this not a surprise. Is it a surprise that anti-government types would also be anti-law types? Is it a surprise that people who think their ideological bias makes them better qualified to educate kids than professional educators might also be arrogant enough to think that they can get away with embezzling public funds in a low-oversight high-cash environment? It seems to me that people who think government can't do anything right would not expect government to be able to catch them writing checks to their own account.

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mlaudenslageNov. 29, 09 4:56 AM

Everybody has done everything morally, ethically and legally??? Always easy to say when you're the one reaping the benefit. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see there is a definite conflict of interest that needs addressing. These things are criminal in their intent and just "dressed up" as a business/board transaction. They should be prosectuted, plain and simple!

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JohnWFANov. 29, 09 5:02 AM

Getting around anti-student laws is not easy and this is an example of minor problems that arise by systems that need to take risks to succeed.

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olsonb5Nov. 29, 09 5:27 AM

but much lower costs. How can you not love the charter schools? Even after reading the Red Star's front page editorial. Sure there are a few bad apples in the bunch, but look at Mpls Public Schools and you will find worse problems. That's why kids are leaving public schools by the thousands. Just think, eduction without having to deal with ANTI-CHILDREN teacher's unions! What a country!!!!!!

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thecap0Nov. 29, 09 5:38 AM

I have no problem with parents sending their children to any school they wish, just so long as they do not call on the state for financial assistance. When there is a public swimming pool in town supported by the taxpayers, do not expect the government to build one in your backyard.

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joeeeeeeNov. 29, 09 6:06 AM

Every Minnesota child would benefit from small class sizes and more individual attention. Every Minnesotan knows that is true. But instead of every Minnesota child getting what they need, only the children that have special charter schools created for them and funded by our tax dollars have the opportuntiy to have class sizes and school populations tailored to their needs. When money to fund education in Minnesota is inadequate, we fund this special system of inefficient education for the few. Every one of these schools pulls money out of our general public education system. Who pays to heat, cool and maintain these buildings? Who is paying for all these extra layers of administration? If we want to support small class sizes then we should do it for all Minnesota children in a system that is transparent and open to all.

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usa1776Nov. 29, 09 6:15 AM

What I see in Mpls Public Schools are dedicated staff compensating for the parenting deficiencies. Staff teach the kids respect for self and others, tutor in language skills and math and try to forestall pre-criminal behavior like stealing. Its hard to imagine how negligent the gang involved and drug/alcohol addicted families are. Some choose cigarettes over flu vaccinations. Mpls Public School's staff saves kids lives and serves as a socializing force making our society safer.

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jstwondrngNov. 29, 09 6:16 AM

State Education Department officials said lawmakers should either forbid such junk-bond deals or sharply regulate them. "It's legal under the law, but it was never the underlying intent'' for charter schools to build their own schools, Anderson said. Those comments made by Pawlenty's Department of Education mucky muck tries to shift the blame to others. Where was their oversite and proposals for reform. This women is just another political hack who is spending her time pushing Pawlenty's attack on teacher tenure rather then doing her job protecting the tax payer.

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johnny99Nov. 29, 09 6:18 AM

So the easiest solution is to eliminate all possibilities of fraud occurring. Lots of conflicts of interests here. Rather than trust or rely upon people's good intentions, just avoid the possibility. If you are in charge of a school, you shouldn't be taking fees on the side for helping to get money for the school.

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johnny99Nov. 29, 09 6:19 AM

I was just set to raise money to build my own Minnesota School for Competitive Tuba Playing. It seems that is the last charter school niche not out there.

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