Before the Hartford Courant revealed that the CEO of the FUSE/Jumoke Charter School Chain wasn’t the “Dr.” he claimed to be and had served time in prison for embezzling money from a public agency in California, Commissioner Stefan Pryor and the Malloy administration had given the man formerly known as “Dr.” Michael Sharpe and his company, FUSE/Jumoke Academy, lucrative “no-bid” contracts to run neighborhood schools in Hartford and Bridgeport, as well as granting him approval to open a new charter school in New Haven.
All that largess came on top of the $53 million that Sharpe and his company had already collected in taxpayer funds to pay for the Jumoke Academy, a charter school in Hartford.
As Sharpe’s sordid past came to light, the Jumoke/FUSE charter school management company collapsed and Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor (aka the fox guarding the hen house) put the charter school management company on probation and ordered an investigation.
Interestingly Pryor and the State Board of Education’s action was aimed solely at the “FUSE” portion of the charter school management organization as the charter for the Jumoke Academy was left untouched. In his capacity as CEO of the Jumoke Academy it was Sharpe who once told a legislative panel that reason the charter school had virtually no special education students was because they had a special program that went into their kindergarten classes and cured the students of their special education needs. [But even statements like that didn’t stop the Malloy administration from pouring even more money into the charter school.]
Now, months after the investigation was called for, an incredibly damning report has been made public.
But in a typical move designed to limit political fallout and protect the guilty, Governor Malloy’s State Department of Education failed to release the stunning report until late in the afternoon on Friday, January 2, 2015.
The Hartford Courant, which has led the investigative work on FUSE/Jumoke didn’t get a full news report up until 8 p.m. and the CT Post, another media outlet that has followed the story, produced their updated report after 10:30 p.m.
Oh, and try as you might, you won’t even find the press release or the report listed on the Department of Education’s “Media Page.”
But you can get the news via the Hartford Courant’s piece entitled, “Probe Of Charter School Group Blasts ‘Suspect’ Conduct, ‘Rampant Nepotism.’”
Also, the CT Post stories can be found at, “State releases investigative report on FUSE/Jumoke,” and “State report details problems with FUSE management.”
The CT Post has also provided a link to the actual report: http://blog.ctnews.com/education/files/2015/01/Jumoke-FUSE-Invest-2014-2.pdf
And Diane Ravitch has quickly produced an excellent summary of the issues at, “Connecticut: State Investigation Finds Rampant Nepotism and Lack of Oversight at Charter Chain.”
There will be much more about this report in the coming days, but the facts reveal the complete lack of oversight of charter schools in Connecticut and the way the report was released provides a firsthand look at the Malloy administration’s dedication to keeping citizens from knowing just how bad the situation is and how much of the people’s tax dollars are being wasted by these privately-run, publicly-funded charter school companies.