Michigan Charter Schools, Hospice Inc. and Repeat Flood Repairs

ProPublica Staff

Detroit, MI, United States (ProPublica) – by Amanda Zamora

How is Michigan spending $1 billion in charter-school funds?

The state’s patchwork oversight makes that a tough question to answer. A Detroit Free Press investigation found the majority of Michigan’s charter schools rely on for-profit management firms — more than any other state — that provide little insight into how they spend public funds. The spending often doesn’t translate into achievement: while several charters ranked among the top in the state academically, 38 percent fell below the 25th percentile last year, meaning 75 percent of all schools in the state outperformed them. — Detroit Free Press, submitted by @marinav13

How dying became a multi-billion dollar industry

A boom in hospice care has brought widespread allegations of abuse and fraud, but the level of inspection and oversight hasn’t kept up. Meanwhile, the Huffington Post documents a blitz of hospice marketing that puts profits above care, with sales managers literally “cruising”the halls of nursing homes in search of clients. — Huffington Post

An expensive (and taxpayer-funded) Groundhog Day

WNYC finds that the U.S. government is paying an average of $213,000 per property to repair thousands of homes and businesses in New York and New Jersey considered to be “severe and repetitive loss”units, meaning they are known to flood repeatedly. One home in New Jersey has flooded at least 15 times, resulting in $1.35 million paid by the National Flood Insurance Program. Meanwhile, property owners aren’t required to take steps to prevent future flooding. — WNYC, submitted by @jimschachter

‘Mainly the game is to keep the poor out’

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette charts the closures of hospitals in poor communities across the United States over the last several decades and the impact the closures are having on the cost of healthcare and the quality of life for those underserved. — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, submitted by @cm_thompson3

A Lyme test loophole you should know about

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is growing increasingly concerned about the rise of unproven Lyme disease testing, which is leaving an untold number of patients with questionable results. An FDA exemption means labs don’t have to follow the CDC’s recommended methods of testing. — New England Center for Investigative Reporting, submitted by @natetobey

The MuckReads Podcast: How a lack of federal regulation allows public schools to physically restrain children or isolate them in rooms against their will – even in non-emergency situations. Subscribe: SoundCloud, iTunes and Stitcher

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