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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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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