Federal funds for clout school operator despite probe

May 7, 2016 by

Des Plaines-based Concept Schools applied for and was awarded a nearly $340,000 federal grant for a new school on the Southwest Side despite being under investigation over allegations the clout-heavy charter-school operator was involved in defrauding a federal grant program, a Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found.

Concept — whose privately run, publicly financed schools include four campuses in Chicago — applied to the U.S. Department of Education for the money five weeks after the FBI and other federal agencies raided Concept locations across the Midwest on June 4, 2014.

Those 19 locations included its headquarters and Chicago Math and Science Academy in Rogers Park, the Sun-Times has reported.

The Department of Education approved the grant last year for Concept’s Horizon Science Academy-Southwest Chicago Charter School, 5401 S. Western Ave., awarding nearly all the money Concept asked for — $337,138 over three years. Concept had asked for more than $343,000 over two years, noting that most of the students at the school come from low-income families.

Source: WATCHDOGS: Federal funds for clout school operator despite probe | Chicago Sun-Times

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