This will not be the last time you see the head of a charter school in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, I can promise you that.
New Media Technology Charter School founder Hugh Clark admitted to stealing $522,000 in taxpayer funds as well as $339,000 from a bank in order to bankroll his non-school related business interests, according to this story in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Is anyone surprised?
While many charter schools do a good job and are an appealing alternative to escape the wreckage that make up district-run Philadelphia public schools, the city’s rush to embrace the charters has resulted in wanton and reckless transfer of public money to private individuals with little oversight. Be prepared for more stories like this one.
The last two grafs in the Inky story are damning:
The school is the fourth Philadelphia charter school whose administrators or board members have faced federal fraud charges in the past decade.
New Media is among at least 18 area charter schools that have come under federal investigation since 2008, according to sources with knowledge of the probes.