Setting Up Charter Schools Is Very Profitable

Millions, apparently, in the case of the leaders of Options Public Charter School, and including the chief financial officer of the Public Charter School Board.

Quoting from the most recent court documents: (page 15, section 44)

By arranging for the transfer of revenue from Options PCS to Defendant EES under the transportation agreements in SY2012-2013, Defendants Montgomery, Cranford, and Dalton were able to pay themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars from Defendant EES’s revenue in 2012 and 2013. The chart below reflects the total amounts those Defendants paid themselves from Defendant EES’s funds during 2012 and 2013:

fraud at options pcs

At the time that Defendants Montgomery, Cranford and Dalton received these payments, they were each receiving a full salary from Options PCS.

Another section (46 through 52) accuses the school of  trying to win millions more revenue for the school and its owners by falsely re-classifying large numbers of the students at the school to Level 4 special education. Why would anybody care? you may ask. The following table explains why:

special ed fees options pcs



So, if a student is really Level 2, but mysteriously gets reclassified as Level 4, then he or she will earn the school about twenty-one thousand extra dollars. Multiply that by 50 students, and the school’s owners can rake in an extra million. Here’s more (sections 51, 52):

The levels of students with disabilities are generally determined through an evaluation process at their schools. Many of the students classified as Level 4 students at Options PCS in SY2012-2013 had been classified as Level 1, 2, or 3 students at Options PCS or another school in SY2011-2012, while few students classified as Level 4 students at Options PCS or another school in SY2011-2012 were classified below Level 4 at Options PCS in SY2012-2013.
The projected 42% increase in the number of Options PCS students at Level 4 accounts for most of the $2.8 million increase in District public school funding that, in December 2012, Options PCS was budgeting for SY 2012-2013.

There is more (sections 77-79 of the complaint):

While still the chief financial officer of the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board (“PCSB”), which is the District agency that oversees public charter schools, Defendant Williams became a member of the Options PCS Board of Trustees’ Finance Committee on February 25, 2013, and began acting as a business advisor to EEMC not later than March 2013. To assist EEMC, Williams regularly forwarded confidential, internal PCSB emails to Defendants Montgomery, Cranford and Dalton, including emails alerting those Defendants to a surprise inspection of Options PCS planned by PCSB staff. 
Shortly before his employment with PCSB ended and his job as chief financial officer of EEMC began, Defendant Williams assisted EEMC by surreptitiously inserting its Management Agreement (with Options PCS) onto the PCSB’s “reviewed contracts” list for its August 2013 board meeting. By doing so, Williams created the false impression that the Management Agreement had already been reviewed by the PCBS staff.

I would like to commend Emma Brown for reporting on this in the Washington Post.


Published in: on January 4, 2014 at 9:19 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Brandenburg read the court documents in the case against officials at Options Charter School in […]


  2. Unbelievable greed in the guise of educating children.


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