Schools for Scoundrels

Jet Skis, Scottish real estate, Louis Vuitton bags: how crooks have cashed in on the charter school boom.

Mickey: Cat Lane/iStockphoto; Vending machine: Vendingvision

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Also read: Jeb Bush’s Cyber Attack on Public Schools and Fox in the Schoolhouse: Rupert Murdoch Wants to Teach Your Kids!

Charter schools have been held up as models of innovative school reform, but due to a striking lack of oversight (PDF), the sector is also a magnet for fraud. Between 2005 and 2011, the US Department of Education opened 53 investigations into charter school fraud, resulting in 21 indictments and 17 convictions. Twenty-seven investigations are pending. Let’s just say the following schools didn’t make it into Waiting for “Superman”:

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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