Tuesday, February 25, 2020
US flag

Ga. charter school operator stole $1.2 million

Widespread corruption and wonky money business have a way, it would seem, based on overwhelming evidence, of following charter schools wherever they rise up.

An Atlanta charter school founder entered guilty pleas Tuesday in Fulton County Superior Court in two cases linked to thefts of at least $1.2 million, including money stolen from the schools he helped start, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

I mean, public schools have been accused of unethical business practices in Baltimore County, among other places. But it’s nothing like what happens when oversight gets relaxed in order to allow charter schools to meet the requirements of their charter: educating students who are somehow not served by traditional public schools.

And when school officials and leaders give in to corruption—a pathway much more likely with operators of charter schools, which don’t have the same accountability requirements as their public school cousins—the education of those students suffers.

“I am deeply, thoroughly, overwhelmingly sorry,” the paper quoted Christopher Clemons, 39, as saying to the judge. He was accused of, among other things, spending about $50,000 of that money at strip clubs. “I am responsible for what has happened. I take responsibility for my actions, and I know that I allowed my own unchecked ego to lead me on a ludicrous adventure that led to absurd results that left a lot of people hurt.”


A movie poster for Killing Ed, a documentary about corruption in one brand of charter schools
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Most detailed images ever of the sun

A new telescope at the National Solar Observatory snapped the most detailed pictures of the sun's surface we have ever seen.

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.

Md. & IL bands perform on New Year’s in...

Bands from IL and Md. once again entertained thousands of people who lined the streets of London and Rome on New Year's Day.

Howard Co. sounds an under-staffing alarm

Teachers in a Md. district have filed a grievance over missing planning and lunch periods and, as a result, putting the most vulnerable students at risk.

Top 11 school stories of 2019

We find these 11 stories to have the greatest potential for influencing activity and direction in schools for the near future.

Girls’ volleyball champs in Illinois

We congratulate the Illinois state champions in girls' volleyball: Newark, St Teresa, Sterling, & Benet Academy.

A weekend of ‘band geeks’ across America

The musical Band Geeks was in performance at a MD high school, just as marching bands from across America named a national champion.

2 dead, 3 wounded in Calif. school shooting

Another school shooting has resulted in the death of 2 California high school students. The suspect shot himself and is in custody.

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.