Today in federal district court Steve Ingersoll was found guilty on 3 of 6 fraud charges. His literal partner in crime, Roy Bradley, was found guilty of a sole count of fraud. The wives and sibling also named in the indictment were acquitted. Ingersoll is still free on bond, and will be sentenced on June 16, 2015. While we wait to see if Ingersoll spends any time in prison for his white collar crime, Let’s take a look at the aftermath of what he has spent the past two decades doing.
Ingersoll got into the for-profit charter school racket in the 1990’s. According to a teacher who worked for him, his shell game with taxpayer money even happened back then. Defrauding the government out of money was nothing new to him, and despite Dan Quisenberry’s laughable quote in the Bay City Times, the fact that this case eventually ended up in court had nothing to do with excellent oversight and accountability of the authorizer. Lake Superior State University had documentation from Grand Traverse Academy’s lawyer and Mike Flanagan that there was a problem with Ingersoll’s finances and Lake Superior State University did absolutely nothing to stop Ingersoll. It took a federal indictment to reign him in.
LSSU did such a good job with their program of oversight and accountability they chartered another for-profit charter school in Bay City for Ingersoll, where a contractor with a track record of hiring homeless people off the street and paying them under the table with cash removed asbestos illegally. This means there are school children breathing air inside a building where asbestos particles float around to be inhaled. Bradley was found guilty of that in an earlier trial, but he’s in the process of appealing that decision.
The state of Michigan needs to reconsider allowing more for-profit charter schools to open. Ingersoll is one person out of many currently taking state and federal money to operate these schools, and it’s obvious from what just happened with one charter school manager that there is no accountability and oversight happening at all. Millions in taxpayer money gone, and what is there to show for it? Charter schools that rank at the bottom in academic achievement and a curriculum that includes controversial, unproven vision therapy touted to cure ADHD and Autism. Bay City Academy seems to be subconsciously admitting something with this kindergarten round up poster recently posted online, don’t you think?