Back in the early days of charter schools, their advocates imagined that most would be run by teachers or local educators with a passion to run their own school. The charters would be innovative and accountable, working closely with public schools to share good ideas.

That was then, this is now.

No one back in the late 1980s envisioned huge charter chains like KIPP.

Nor did they imagine the emergence of for-profit chains owned by entrepreneurs.

Nor did they imagine that a state like Nevada would have most of its charter school students in schools managed by Academica, a Florida-based for-profit chain.

Academica’s politically connected owners have amassed over $100 million in Florida real estate. Real estate: that’s where the profit is. Running charters schools is a lucrative business, especially if you have influential friends and family in the legislature.