Teachers Union Questions Charter School Relationships With For-Profit Company

Denver’s teachers union is demanding Denver Public Schools halt the expansion of charter schools until district leaders can ensure taxpayer money is not going to for-profit corporations.

The request comes on the heels of a study by an advocacy organization, the Center for Popular Democracy, based in New York. It alleges Denver’s largest charter school network – the Denver School of Science and Technology – paid between $20 million and $50 million to a for-profit company for employee and personnel services for DSST schools. During this time the company was owned by two of DSST’s founding directors.

The Center for Popular Democracy group says that relationship raises concerns about conflicts of interest.

DSST and Denver Public Schools deny any wrongdoing.

The district says that neither the district, DSST nor the company benefited financially and in fact there was a net loss to the company, which the district forgave when the company dissolved.

Money for independently run public charter schools is under great scrutiny now because of pending state legislation to shift more money to charter schools.