Opinion

Ref Rodriguez and charter schools' failure to police themselves

To the editor: The Los Angeles Times must now look at the failure of charter school oversight personnel to detect or discourage the kinds of actions Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education member Ref Rodriguez is accused of doing. (“What Ref Rodriguez's latest legal problems mean for the charter school movement,” Oct. 18)

Senior managers with the Partnerships to Uplift Communities charter school network, which Rodriguez co-founded, admitted they had no previous knowledge of the transfer of $285,000 in PUC Schools money authorized by Rodriguez (mostly to a nonprofit he controlled) until they were responding to questions and a public records request from The Times.

The pro-charter majority on the school board should rethink its recent requests to streamline charter approvals and renewals. Unfortunately, we’ll never know how widespread charter fraud is if so much of the schools’ operations are similarly hidden from public scrutiny.

Don’t forget, we would never have found out about the $285,000 if it had not been for the criminal charges filed against Rodriguez.

Sari Rynew, Studio City

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