This week’s column at WHYY’s Newsworks:
Earlier this month the Star-Ledger released the results of its two- month investigation of the finances of New Jersey’s thriving industry of 170 private special education schools. After carefully reviewing more than 8,000 pages of audit reports and documents, the Ledger concluded that a portion of these publicly-supported schools are rife with “nepotism, high-executive salaries, generous pensions, fancy cars and questionable business deals.”
Under federal and state law,, specifically the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (I.D.E.A.), children with disabilities are entitled to a free education in a setting that provides all necessary services. So these fancy cars and profligate salaries all come courtesy of New Jersey taxpayers. (The Feds kick in a little bit.) The Ledger paints a picture worthy of everything you love to hate about Jersey: surreptitious backroom deals, partisan favors, and unethical behavior.
Just as alarming, alleges the Ledger, this bilking of the public occurs under the aegis of the NJ Department of Education.
But here’s one detail that the Ledger leaves out.
Read the rest here.