“We see this as an event that is very much specific to Options, and we are pretty proud of the level of oversight that we have in general,” said Darren Woodruff, the board’s vice chairman. “We’re confident that this is something that is not going to be an issue beyond this one school.”
Because they are loosely regulated, charter schools are often neither accountable nor transparent. In 2013, the founders of an L.A. charter with 1,200 students were convicted of misappropriating more than $200,000 in public funds. In Oakland, an audit at the highest-performing charter schools in the state found that $3.8 million may have been misused when the founder hired his other businesses to do work for his charters.
Charter schools are "public" when it is time to claim public funding, but they have claimed in federal court and before the National Labor Relations Board to be private corporations when their employees seek the protection of state labor laws.