Texas places state’s largest charter school network under conservatorship

Zincwarrior

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Nov 18, 2021
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Interesting timing. There has been a major push to to allow funds in any school district in Texas to be used for charter schools. It lost in the last election cycle (all those Republican rural school districts were against it) and the governor has been on the bandwagon trying to get those who voted against it primaried.

Texas places state’s largest charter school network under conservatorship​

Texas’ largest charter school network has been placed under conservatorship by the Texas Education Agency after a years-long investigation into improper spending within the system of 143 schools.

The arrangement, announced Wednesday, is part of a settlement agreement between IDEA Public Schools and the TEA. IDEA had been under investigation since 2021 following numerous allegations of financial and operational misconduct.

It was revealed that IDEA officials used public dollars to purchase luxury driver services as well as $15 million to lease a private jet, just two weeks after promising TEA it would be “strictly enforcing” new fiscal responsibility policies put in place in response to ongoing investigations, as reported by San Antonio Express-News.

The revelations led the district to conduct an internal investigation, resulting in the firing of JoAnn Gama, former superintendent and co-founder of IDEA. Gama later filed a lawsuit against IDEA claiming wrongful termination. IDEA came to a $475,000 settlement with Gama in January. This followed co-founder and CEO Tom Torkelson’s departure in 2020; he was given a $900,000 severance package.


The charter school district serves about 80,000 students in K-12. The schools are independently run but publicly funded with state dollars, having received about $821 million in state funding in 2023-2024 school year.
 
Why is Texas education always on the wrong side of the law.

If it is not religion, then it is money, or it is both.
 
Inevitable. I am not against the idea of giving students options but in many of the cases with "charter schools" the number one priority is profit.
When I was a citizen of CA, we had a look into how schools are run by CA. We looked at the total budget of schools run by CA and divided the money per student. We assumed all teachers got top pay. The waste should have been smaller. But it was not smaller. Schools consumed much more than what was indicated. It was not teachers being paid a lot more, it was those above Teachers were really raking it in. Big time, so they fought Charter schools.
 
When I was a citizen of CA, we had a look into how schools are run by CA. We looked at the total budget of schools run by CA and divided the money per student. We assumed all teachers got top pay. The waste should have been smaller. But it was not smaller. Schools consumed much more than what was indicated. It was not teachers being paid a lot more, it was those above Teachers were really raking it in. Big time, so they fought Charter schools.

That happens also.
 
Take care of your own kids. You had 'em now educate 'em When did it become someone else's job?
 
Interesting timing. There has been a major push to to allow funds in any school district in Texas to be used for charter schools. It lost in the last election cycle (all those Republican rural school districts were against it) and the governor has been on the bandwagon trying to get those who voted against it primaried.

This is why many charter schools failed in Jacksonville FL while I was teaching there. The financial management of these schools is often corrupt by the people founding and running these schools. They steal taxpayer's money and do not educate the kids because they are short on funds.
 

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