Editorial: Lessons from Indian charter school failure
"Early this week, the former director of a Minneapolis Native American charter school appeared in court, accused of embezzling $1.3 million from the program.

Joel Pourier allegedly diverted public funds from the Oh Day Aki/Heart of the Earth school for his own personal use between 2003 until 2008. Last year, the school's sponsor, Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), closed the program when a long overdue audit found financial discrepancies.

So who was asleep at the switch here? And what does this case say about charter school finances generally?

Even before Pourier's tenure, Heart of the Earth had financial, academic and management troubles. Started in the 1970s as an alternative public school, its mission was to offer culturally sensitive schooling to help Indian kids.

Over the years the school board came close to shutting down the program several times, but it kept getting reprieves. The school became a charter program in 1999 but continued to have difficult"

Get the Story:
Editorial: A tough lesson in school fraud case (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 6/6)

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Column: Indian charter school lessons now about greed (6/3)
Ex-Indian charter school official charged with theft (6/2)
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