Payments: No other large charter school has as many transactions involving family members as Espiritu Schools in south Phoenix. Armando Ruiz is the founder and a board member for Espiritu, a non-profit that operates three schools on one property. He also is on the board of a separate non-profit, called the A Group, that gets paid by Espiritu to handle non-academic functions of the school such as technology, sports, parent involvement, bookkeeping and human resources. This allows educators to focus solely on academics, he said.Ruiz’s schools also pay rent to a third non-profit, called Project America, that owns the land and whose president and board are made up of Ruiz’s brother, sister and nephew. That non-profit, in turn, donates a chunk of its money to a charity, Mary’s Ministries, founded by the Ruizes’ mother, Estella Ruiz, that trains community leaders to conduct spiritual workshops. Over the last five years, Espiritu has paid $615,624 in salaries to nine members of the Ruiz family who also served on the Espiritu board...
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“4 charter-school organizations where insiders benefited.” The Arizona Republic, 11/17/2012