Established charter schools are able to tap into grants meant to help start-ups by nesting schools within schools. Sometimes the two schools share everything, from staffers to teachers to buildings.From the outside, it looks like a single school, with one main door, one security guard, one principal greeting students.But on paper, the Charter School of Excellence at Tamarac is actually two schools in one — a bookkeeping strategy allowing the school to collect an extra $250,000 in grant money from the state...
For years, state and local school officials have handed out these competitive grants with few strings attached and little oversight, a Miami Herald review has found. For example:• State officials have approved grants to schools before they established a fixed location or even a name, records show. Some of these schools later ended up within existing schools — with no requirement to open a new, separate campus.• Officials have also approved grants of as much as $275,000 to schools based on inflated enrollment projections. One grant-winning charter has only 26 students — though in its application the school claimed it would draw 900 kids, records show.• Until recently, the Miami-Dade school district never monitored how charter schools spent this grant money, or checked to ensure the grants were spent according to state and federal rules.The state’s loose definition of a charter school has caused other problems, too. In 2010, administrators overseeing two middle schools in the same Coral Springs building swapped students between the schools — without alerting the school district — helping an F-rated school raise its grade to a B on statewide performance tests...Under Florida law, a charter school is defined not by its facilities or its students but by its paperwork: State and local school officials recognize a charter school once its founding organization’s application is approved and the school has a contract with its local school board. Once this charter is approved, the school then becomes eligible for a start-up grant — even if the school has no fixed location, or if it operates within an existing school...Over the past four years, about $23 million in grants have gone to charter schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, records show.Charter schools are eligible for only one start-up grant per school. In recent years, the grants have not exceeded $425,000 per school, with most grants under $300,000, records show.A Herald review found at least 10 South Florida schools approved for grant money despite sharing a building and administrators with another school...Once a charter school receives a grant, local school districts are supposed to monitor how the money is spent, to ensure that the school complies with the spending plan approved by Tallahassee. But in Miami-Dade, charter schools spent this grant money with no oversight for years, because Miami-Dade School District officials never reviewed their spending...
- Single schools
- Authorizers, clusters, CMOs, EMOs, etc.
- Charter school studies, reports
- Funny business
- The Master Plan
- Gulen charter schools 101 + webinar video
- The Gulen Movement & its schools in the news
- Gulen-linked charter school enrollment in 2014-2015
- List of Gulen-linked charter schools in 2016-2017
Florida charter schools (grant tapping-practices)
“Charter schools get a second helping of free money.” Miami Herald, 4/28/2012