Charter school crimes

The case of Ivy Academia is an example of why oversight is needed

Charter schools are an educational option for parents frustrated with their children’s lack of learning. It is an alternative that, like others, should be carefully supervised.

The case of Ivy Academia in the San Fernando Valley is an example of how this system can lend itself to personal enrichment financed with public funds intended for education. This is not representative of what happens in charter schools, but it is a wakeup call.

It has been explained that Eugene Selivanov and his wife, Tatyana Berkovich, the school’s founders and operators, committed administrative errors; but the jury found them guilty of fraud in which they used public money for personal use, including a seminar on “how to avoid paying taxes.”

Student results at Ivy Academia were good both before and after the couple stopped managing it. Here, the problem is an administrative crime that did not seem to jeopardize the educational side of the school, but that does not make it any less serious.

This case is an example of why oversight is needed and why it yields results. This is why it is a mistake to believe that the regulations—and even the category—of charter schools should be changed to provide them with more flexibility.

The solution is to ensure that public funds go to education and not to change the rules to allow personal enrichment.