Feds investigate charter schools in Philly

    Federal law enforcement agencies are investigating a number of charter schools in the Philadelphia area, according to newspaper reports.

    Federal law enforcement agencies are investigating a number of charter schools in the Philadelphia area, according to newspaper reports. Advocates and lawmakers say there is confusion over who holds charter schools accountable.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090818spcharter.mp3]

    Some say the state department of education has not done enough to oversee charter schools. A spokesman for that department says its the job of local districts to do the investigation. And a spokesman for the School Reform Commission says the boards of the charter schools themselves need to step up.

    Ami Mody is a staff attorney with the Education Law Center. Mody served on a charter school committee that recently gave recommendations to Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission.

    Mody says the state’s charter school law contributes to the murkiness, including what role Philadelphia’s charter school office should play.

    Mody: I think that that charter school office is unclear about what authority it has to investigate charter schools that are speculated of wrong doing and hold them accountable.

    Mody says given the confusion, she’s not surprised the federal government stepped in to investigate.

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