Take a look at this list of abuses:
The Free Press found that questionable decisions, excessive spending and misuse of taxpayer dollars run the gamut:Here's how National Heritage Academies responded.
■ A Sault Ste. Marie charter school board gave its administrator a severance package worth $520,000 in taxpayer money.
■ A Bedford Township charter school spent more than $1 million on swampland.
■ A mostly online charter school in Charlotte spent $263,000 on a Dale Carnegie confidence-building class, $100,000 more than it spent on laptops and iPads.
■ Two board members who challenged their Romulus school’s management company over finances and transparency were ousted when the length of their terms was summarily reduced by Grand Valley State University.
■ National Heritage Academies, the state’s largest for-profit school management company, charges 14 of its Michigan schools $1 million or more in rent — which many real estate experts say is excessive.
■ A charter school in Pittsfield Township gave jobs and millions of dollars in business to multiple members of the founder’s family.
■ Charter authorizers have allowed management companies to open multiple schools without a proven track record of success.
The trick here is numbingly familiar to anyone who has followed the debate closely. These corrupt schools wrap themselves with heart-warming images of school children the way scandal-ridden politicians wrap themselves in the flag. The hope, of course, is that people will form such a strong association that they won't notice that these schools are looting money that was supposed to go to these very kids.
For a closer look at National Heritage Academies, check here.