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| Holding Charter Schools Accountable

Report on Paladino's Ties to Charter Schools

The Buffalo News - October 22, 2014, by Sandra Tan - As noted in today's story, Carl Paladino has financial investments in six Buffalo charter schools, leading some to question whether he has a conflict of interest as a board member on votes he makes regarding charter schools. He has arranged the financing and leased the buildings that charter schools need to get off the ground and expand. Some charter school founders say they might not exist without his help. Today, Alliance for Quality Education -- a statewide coalition that supports resources and support for traditional public schools and opposes charter schools -- has released a report that refers to Paladino's charter school holdings.

The anti-Paladino report "Good for Kids or Good for Carl?" was released by Alliance for Quality Education and Citizen Action, with research assistance from The Center for Popular Democracy. The report, below, focuses on the lease payments and tax breaks Paladino's company, Ellicott Development, receives for its investments in charter schools. It culls much of its information from news stories and public information from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, the Erie County Clerk's Office and other public records.  The report, however, does not include any information regarding the debt service and front-end investments made by Paladino into these schools, which would relate directly to the company's profit margin.

More detailed information about Paladino's investments into each of his charter school holdings will be posted to the School Zone Blog separately, based on additional information Paladino provided Tuesday. (Some of that information is available as part of the graphic that ran with the main story. A print version of the graphic erroneously states that Paladino anticipates a 1 percent return on investment for the Charter School of Inquiry. That should read 11 percent.) We will also live blog tonight's Buffalo School Board meeting at 5:30 p.m. Prior to the meeting will be an anti-Paladino rally by AQE and Citizen Action.