BIG MONEY, LITTLE OVERSIGHT: Profit-making mission of Steven Ingersoll's Smart Schools Management, Inc. expected to be featured during tomorrow's hearing.
Like Michigan, most states have neither regulated charter schools well enough to protect the needs of children nor to prevent fraud and widespread waste of public dollars that were historically spent for better regulated traditional public schools.
Charter schools have become a parallel school system, a system controlled largely by for-profit management companies and private landlords — one and the same, in many cases — and rife with insider deals and potential conflicts of interest. Charter schools are required to file financial statements with their local school districts. The reports are among the most important monitoring tools districts have to assess the financial health of charter schools.
Still, the statements don’t always show the complete picture. Michigan's charter school law does not require operators to provide details on day-to-day spending — and governing boards can sometimes be left in the dark, or just willfully negligent.
At 8:30am tomorrow morning (October 20), Steven Ingersoll's sentencing hearing begins, with the government presenting evidence of Ingersoll's "abuse of trust" regarding the embezzlement of at least $3.5 million dollars from the Grand Traverse Academy.
And what about the Traverse City charter school's Board of Directors?
Grossly incompetent...or completely complicit? Conflict of interest...or criminal conspiracy?
Looks to your girl Miss Fortune that the runaway gravy train is about to jump the tracks!
Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the witness holding room.