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Congresswoman seeks to close so-called charter school lease reimbursement loophole

An amendment aimed at what is known as the charter school lease reimbursement loophole has been introduced by 5th District Congresswoman Jahana Hayes.  She says the regulatory loophole has been exploited by 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 and Hayes says there's been no guardrails created to prevent waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.  A 2016 nationwide audit by the Department of Education a serious risk in those contracts. 

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.

Hayes says many nonprofit charters have entered into contracts with separate for-profit companies that they also own, often paying unreasonably high rates for land or school buildings, and they are then reimbursed for the costs at taxpayers’ expense.  Her amendment would close the facility lease loophole, and curbs financial waste and abuse.

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Rich Valdes

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