Find Post Investigations On:
Facebook Scribd Twitter
Friendfeed RSS Google Reader
» About This Blog | Meet the Investigative Team | Subscribe
Ongoing Investigation

Top Secret America

The Post explores the top secret world the government created in response to the attacks of Sept. 11.

Ongoing Investigation

The Hidden Life of Guns

How guns move through American society, from store counter to crime scene.

Have a Tip?

Talk to Us

If you have solid tips, news or documents on potential ethical violations or abuses of power, we want to know. Send us your suggestions.
• E-mail Us


Post Investigations
In-depth investigative news
and multimedia from The Washington Post.
• Special Reports
• The Blog

Reporters' Notebook
An insider's guide to investigative news: reporters offer insights on their stories.

The Daily Read
A daily look at investigative news of note across the Web.

Top Picks
A weekly review of the best
in-depth and investigative reports from across the nation.

Hot Documents
Court filings, letters, audits and other documents of interest.

D.C. Region
Post coverage of investigative news in Maryland, Virginia and the District.

Washington Watchdogs
A periodic look into official government investigations.

Help! What Is RSS?
Find out how to follow Post Investigations in your favorite RSS reader.

Hot Comments

Unfortunately I believe that we are limited in what we can focus on. I think that if we proceed with the partisan sideshow of prosecuting Bush admin. officials, healthcare will get lost in the brouhaha.
— Posted by denamom, Obama's Quandary...

Recent Posts
Bob Woodward

The Washington Post's permanent investigative unit was set up in 1982 under Bob Woodward.

See what you missed, find what you're looking for.
Blog Archive »
Investigations Archive »

Have a Tip?
Send us information on ethics violations or abuses of power.
E-Mail Us »

Notable investigative projects from other news outlets.
On the Web »
Top Picks »

Conflicts Mark Charters Oversight

POSTED: 08:00 AM ET, 12/15/2008 by The Editors

Key members of the public bodies that regulate and fund charter schools in Washington D.C. have taken part in official decisions that stood to benefit themselves, their colleagues, employers and companies with whom they have business ties, according to a Washington Post investigation.

The Post's review found conflicts of interest involving almost $200 million worth of business deals, at more than a third of the city's 60 charter schools.

Several of those deals involve Thomas A. Nida, who chairs the D.C. Public Charter School Board and is also a senior vice president at United Bank. Nida has taken part in official decisions involving schools, their landlords or developers who are also doing business with his bank. Nida voted, for example, to increase enrollment at schools, which resulted in the schools receiving more public funding, and effectively helping them repay loans to his employer, United Bank. Nida said his business ties did not influence his votes.

The Post's two day series also detailed how the charter schools had surpassed the traditional public schools in the academic achievement of disadvantaged students, who make up two-thirds of public school enrollment in the District. The ability of the schools to tap into private donors, bankers and developers has made it possible to fund impressive facilities with more programs and smaller class sizes.

In many cases, those programs and facilities have drawn students, which brings more public funding to the schools. Enrollment at the traditional public schools has fallen 42 percent since Congress created the charter system a dozen years ago, and the growth in charter schools accounts for almost all of that decline.

By The Editors |  December 15, 2008; 8:00 AM ET D.C. Region
Previous: The FBI's History of Wiretapping | Next: Emanuel Talked To Blago Aides, Giant Ponzi Scheme, Lobbying Test for Obama


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining


© 2010 The Washington Post Company