TRONA CHARTER SCHOOL SCAM

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Re: TRONA CHARTER SCHOOL SCAM

Postby wildrose » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:25 am

Virtual schools penalized for claiming false numbers
Yet another case of a charter school falsifying enrollment and attendance data in order to collect public funds. They even had dead kids listed as students!
Two virtual charter schools have repeatedly reported false average daily membership numbers, or ADM, allowing them to receive too much tuition support, according to the State Board of Accounts. When auditing Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy, the State Board of Accounts State Examiner Paul Joyce submitted an affidavit saying he had “been advised that both (schools) have substantially misreported their ADM to the State of Indiana.”

LINK: https://www.rushvillerepublican.com/news/virtual-schools-penalized-for-claiming-false-numbers/article_10471511-9509-51af-b677-460e32ce4842.html
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Re: TRONA CHARTER SCHOOL SCAM

Postby shadylady » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:51 am

Not a lot of news on this one. There ought to be some hearings going on and verdicts being reached. Further investigation must be occurring and there must be some info out there that people should be told about. Public funds are involved and so you'd think that the public should be kept informed!
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Re: TRONA CHARTER SCHOOL SCAM

Postby ergot » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:37 pm

Morning Report: Charter Scandal Exposes Holes in State Processes
Looks like something is happening. A big problem with holding schools financially accountable. The auditing system in place is far from sufficient and sneaky administrators can get away with a lot if they know how to shuffle funds around behind the scenes.
Just one process in California is designed to act as an early warning system when financial shenanigans are going on inside schools. It’s a yearly audit, by a “state-approved,” “independent” auditor, according to the Department of Education.

https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/news/morning-report-charter-scandal-exposes-holes-in-state-processes/
https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/education/a3-charter-scandal-reveals-major-flaws-in-states-auditing-process/
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Re: TRONA CHARTER SCHOOL SCAM

Postby twister » Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:22 am

ergot: Thanks for the update. I fear that this will be under-reported. It's an important issue, especially locally, but it won't get the national scrutiny it deserves. Instead we hear about the endless pickering in Washington D. C. I hope they get to the bottom of this issue and figure out if anyone locally was involved. The mere fact that the leaders of this charter scam were at local board meetings makes me think that a backroom deal was made.
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Re: TRONA CHARTER SCHOOL SCAM

Postby recluse » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:42 pm

Good Schools for All: A Charter School Empire Allegedly Scammed California for $80M
I think there's a podcast thing that goes with this short article. It might be worth listening to if you have the time.
A3 and its alleged scheme covered huge swaths of California, and key players in the operation found creative ways to make children into A3 students — largely just on paper — so they could cash in.

https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/education/good-schools-for-all-a-charter-school-empire-allegedly-scammed-california-for-80m/
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Re: TRONA CHARTER SCHOOL SCAM

Postby wildrose » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:13 am

With the superintendent of Trona Joint Unified School District now on leave it does seem likely that there was something less than completely honest going on between the district and this charter school operation. It doesn't seem like the local news outlets are going to cover this one very aggressively.
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Re: TRONA CHARTER SCHOOL SCAM

Postby drdesert » Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:30 am

wildrose wrote:With the superintendent of Trona Joint Unified School District now on leave it does seem likely that there was something less than completely honest going on between the district and this charter school operation. It doesn't seem like the local news outlets are going to cover this one very aggressively.

You'd think that when a superintendent is put on leave that the local newspapers would cover it. HOWEVER, I haven't heard anything official about why the guy was put on leave. It could be this charter school thing or it could be something else. Do we even know he was put on leave for sure? Was there an official announcement from the school?
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Re: TRONA CHARTER SCHOOL SCAM

Postby wildrose » Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:11 pm

San Diego prosecutors: Districts that authorized A3 charter schools should pay back oversight fees
PUBLISHED BY THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE: FEB. 21, 2020 5 AM
Trona is specifically mentioned and if this goes through it could cost the school district well over one million dollars.
Prosecutors leading the A3 charter school criminal case want to take back potentially millions of dollars of charter school oversight fees that were paid to small school districts that were supposed to hold the A3 schools accountable. The districts also collected oversight fees from the A3 schools beyond state law limits and beyond the actual costs of oversight, prosecutors allege. They want the excess oversight fees, which are state educational dollars, to be returned to the state. The districts named in the motion are Dehesa, Trona Joint Unified in San Bernardino County, Bradley Union in Monterey, Cuyama Joint Unified in Santa Barbara, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified in Los Angeles and Meridian Elementary in Sutter.

The following is documented in school board meeting threads here on Trona News.
Former Trona Joint Unified Superintendent Keith Tomes testified in May that A3 leaders made a kind of “sales pitch” to Trona to authorize their charter school, telling Trona that “the oversight fee could come in handy.”

Trona officials could not be reached for comment.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/education/story/2020-02-21/small-school-districts-that-authorized-a3-charter-schools-could-be-forced-to-pay-back-oversight-fees
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Re: TRONA CHARTER SCHOOL SCAM

Postby mrfish » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:42 am

wildrose: Thanks for the update. This article seems to confirm a lot of what has been speculated about in this thread. Hopefully we're not talking a worst case scenario, but with the earthquake recovery expenses, the threat to royalty income, and this, it seems like things are not looking good.
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Re: TRONA CHARTER SCHOOL SCAM

Postby wildrose » Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:44 am

This is from the TJUSD Board Meeting - March 12, 2020 thread. Hopefully it brings about an end to the charter school fiasco:
blackturtle.us wrote:Second Interim Financial Report - Two numbers were of particular interest. $1.1 million will be paid back to the state due to the charter school fiasco. Also, the projected balance at the end of the current financial cycle for the district after accounting for all currently planned spending will be $10.8 million. [This makes it hard for the district to qualify for Financial Hardship funds which would potentially pay for 100% of needed earthquake repairs. However, the district will still qualify for Facility Hardship funds which potentially pay for 50% of costs associated with earthquake recovery.]
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