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New report exposes over $30 million in proven or suspected fraud in Pennsylvania charter industry

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García says report adds fuel to increasing demands for real accountability in the charter schools industry


WASHINGTON - October 01, 2014 -

The Center for Popular Democracy issued the first state-specific follow-up to its whistle-blowing May 2014 report Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud, and Abuse today. The report reveals more than $30 million in proven or charged fraud, waste or abuse in Pennsylvania’s charter school system.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement:

“It’s time for lawmakers to stop providing charter industry players a blank check with little oversight and no accountability. We’re referring to the same politicians who call for ‘public school accountability’ by piling toxic tests on our students, yet seem to look the other way when it’s time to hold all charter schools responsible for their use of public funds.”

“Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and other politicians in the state continue to push for privatization, despite compelling evidence of fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds in the charter school industry. The CPD report and a recent Annenberg study call for more oversight of the charter schools. Students deserve protection from those fly-by-night charter school operators who are more focused on making money than ensuring that our students receive a quality education.

“It’s ironic and disturbing that Governor Corbett continues to push for the privatization of Pennsylvania’s public schools—handing over entire underfunded school districts like that of York City to charter operators with less-than-stellar records.

“For students in all types of schools—traditional, charter or magnet—the key is having a sound structure for oversight and accountability, while providing educators with autonomy to create great learning environments for their students. Let’s work with families, educators and community members to make sure all students can attend great schools that meet their needs.”

Follow NEA at twitter.com/neamedia. To view CPD’s report, please click here. Join the discussion online using #charters.

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. 

CONTACT: Sara Robertson
202-822-7823, srobertson@nea.org