Robert Cotto, Jr., is an elected member of the Hartford, Connecticut, Board of Education. In this article, he describes the outlandish fees paid to charter management organizations.

“Roughly 10 percent of a charter school’s budget can go toward management fees. For example, the New Haven-based CMO called Achievement First charged Achievement First-Hartford Charter School a $1.14 million management fee in 2013-14. The state provided Achievement First-Hartford charter schools more than $11 million to operate. So about 10 percent of that state funding went to Achievement First the CMO, not the charter school in Hartford, which ended the year with a surplus…..

Multiply this fee by the four Achievement First charter schools in Connecticut, and Achievement First Inc., the CMO, walks away with about $4.45 million in fees.

Not all charter schools are managed by CMOs or pay these management fees. In 2012-13, most charter schools in Connecticut did not pay a “charter management fee.”

If CMOs won’t show us the money, then maybe we don’t need CMOs or their fees. Charter schools can manage without them.