WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05), a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, introduced an amendment Tuesday aimed at what is known as the charter school lease reimbursement loophole. This regulatory loophole has been exploited by many unregulated nonprofit charters as a way to make money off of students and taxpayers.
Public funding for charter schools has reached over $40 billion a year. A 2016 nationwide audit by the Department of Education found that charter school operations pose a serious “risk of waste, fraud, abuse and lack of accountability.”
“As a public-school educator, I know how valuable each dollar for public education is,” said Congresswoman Hayes. “Public funding for charter schools is over $40 billion annually, while all levels of government have failed to monitor or establish guardrails to prevent charter school waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.”
“Many nonprofit charters have entered into contracts with separate for-profit companies that they also own. Charters often pay unreasonably high rates for land or school buildings, and they are then reimbursed for the costs at taxpayers’ expense,” Congresswoman Hayes said. “Every dollar siphoned away from public education threatens a student’s ability to learn and the promise of education. My amendment would close this facility lease loophole, and curbs financial waste and abuse – something that I think we all should agree on.”
These issues were recently highlighted further by several experts and can be found here.
The Rebuild America’s Schools Act was voted out of the House Education and Labor Committee on Tuesday. It will next proceed to the full House floor for a vote.