The IDEA charter chain is one of the largest and most aggressive in Texas. Betsy DeVos showered more than $200 million on IDEA to help it grow faster and to expand in other states. But IDEA, with so much state and federal money coming in, developed a taste for luxury. Its executives and board planned to lease a private jet for $2 million a year, but the publicity put the kibosh on that plan. The company also had box seats for professional basketball games in San Antonio. In the wake of bad publicity, the founder of IDEA decided it was time to mosey on, and he did so with a $1 million golden parachute. The corporation was taken over by the other co-founder and a new chief financial officer, but the board asked them to resign and they did.

Recently, Texans learned that IDEA bought a hotel for about $1 million. The state Attorney General was looking into this, and the press wanted more information about why a charter chain bought a hotel. A local newspaper–the Progress Times in Mission, Texas– reached out to IDEA and asked for copies of the documents involved in the purchase of the hotel.

IDEA claimed it had identified 56,386 documents responsive to the request.

To process the request, IDEA asked the Progress Times to pay $5,830.60. The total included $5,638.60 for copies, $160 for labor and $32 for overhead.

To avoid paying thousands for copies, the Progress Times asked to view the documents. IDEA responded by requesting a decision from the Attorney General’s Office.

The Attorney General said that some of those documents could be released to the newspaper. But now IDEA is suing the Attorney General to block the release of the documents.

Do you know of any school districts that bought a hotel? Business as usual for IDEA.