Across the country, high performing public charter schools are making a difference for kids. Empowered by autonomy, these schools employ innovative, instructional techniques, classroom technology, and out-of-school supports to meet their students’ needs—and, in many cases, help them beat the odds.

But states and districts must pair this autonomy with strong accountability measures. Academic performance and finances need to be closely monitored, and schools that aren’t properly serving their students and communities should be rehabilitated or closed.

Unfortunately, some states and districts are shirking that responsibility. On Monday, UNO Charter School Network, Inc. was charged in federal court with defrauding its investors. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Chicago-based charter management organization (CMO) made “materially misleading statements about transactions that presented a conflict of interest.”

This is a perfect example of why accountability and diligent oversight are critical in our education system. With over $600 billion spent each year on K-12 schools, there are both opportunities and incentives for corruption. And if all students are going to receive a great education, every cent should go towards that end.

Yet far too many schools—both traditional public and public charter—continue to fail students and taxpayers alike. So let’s work together to improve transparency and hold our schools accountable for academics and finances. After all, education is too important to be left up to chance.

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Via: Students First