|Arizona State Rep. EddieFarnsworth|
Farnsworth figured out a way to sell his Primavera online charter school business – the one built with taxpayer funds – and make millions on the deal and then likely get himself hired to continue running the operation. He's converted his charter to a non-profit and thus will no longer have to pay property or income taxes.
Sweet plan. Sickeningly so, says Roberts, when you consider that Farnsworth is making his millions off of tax money intended to be used to educate Arizona children.
The Republic’s Craig Harris has spent all year reporting on operators who are getting rich – or at least, making a tidy pile of cash – off publicly funded charter schools, aided by laughable state laws that require hardly any oversight or accountability.
- There’s the Arizona Charter Schools Association’s No. 2 guy, using his position to throw business to a company he co-owns with his wife by giving her the names of students looking for a charter school. She scores a bounty for every student (and the tax dollars that go with that student) she delivers to certain charter schools.
- There’s BASIS Charters Schools founders Michael and Olga Block, who scored $10 million in fees to manage the charter chain of schools last year.
- There’s American Leadership Academy’s founder Glenn Way, who scored at least $18.4 million profit by getting no-bid contracts to build charter schools thanks largely paid for with public money.
- Then there’s Primavera online school, where most of the public funding has gone not to educate students but to elevate the company’s investment portfolio.