In Lease Agreements, Charter Management Companies Rip Off Their Students and the Public


On January 10, 2019, as one of his final actions as Ohio Auditor of State, Dave Yost released a report about how three Charter Management Companies (CMOs)—National Heritage Academies, Imagine Schools and Concept Schools—have been profiting when their own real estate subsidiaries demand outrageous leasing fees from the charter schools managed by the same National Heritage Academies, Imagine Schools and Concept Schools.

Without any competitive bidding, charter schools being managed by the three CMOs have been forced to pay above market rents for school buildings, when they could have spent the per-pupil dollars allotted to them by the state for paying teachers or otherwise serving their students.

For the Columbus Dispatch, Jim Siegel reports: “In 2015, 77 percent of charter schools leased their buildings. Yost looked at lease agreements with eight schools managed by National Heritage, 13 by Imagine Schools and 17 by Concept Schools.  His office found…

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