More charter school fraud. A state audit has found that a former administrator of a northern California charter school allegedly used school credit cards to purchase weapons, movies, clothing, and more. Expenses included transactions at the Disney Resort and more than $3,990 in unsubstantiated expenditures to Costco. And now the Butte County District Attorney is getting involved. ChicoER

In 2015, a report by the Center for Popular Democracy found an estimated $81,400,000 in fraud, waste, and abuse by California charter operators―which was “just the tip of the iceberg.”   

How a handful of pro-charter billionaires flooded Oakland’s schoolboard elections with cash. The East Bay Express digs into the nonprofit organization Great Oakland Public Schools, which in recent years has raised and spent tens of thousands of dollars to support school board candidates who will advance its goals of growing the number of charter schools and providing them with greater access to publicly funded resources. Most of the cash came from a few billionaires, who have played key roles backing the growing charter school industry. The East Bay Express

Investigation of former charter Los Angeles leader conflict of interest heats up. Last week, the Los Angeles Unified School District doubled down on requesting answers from Partnerships to Uplift Communities about a potential conflict-of-interest with cofounder and now-board member Ref Rodriguez. Leaders of the charter network found more than a dozen checks Rodriguez signed in 2014—while he was serving as PUC Schools’ interim chief financial officer—paying out more than $285,000 in school funds to two outside firms to which he had personal ties. 89.3 KPCC

And in national news…wondering what Betsy DeVos sees when she dreams of public education? Journalist Rebecca Klein dives deep into the thousands of private schools in the U.S. that participate in school choice programs, which most often come in the form of state-level voucher or tax credit scholarships. Many of the schools are run by evangelical Christian churches, are sometimes unaccredited, and can teach creationism, racism, and sexism―all with the help of public dollars. HuffPost


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