World
North Carolina Charter-School Chain Can’t Keep Administrator Salaries Secret

The schools’ management company, which receives millions in public funds each year from the schools, says that the salaries paid to school administrators should be considered a trade secret

 

The North Carolina State Board of Education has issued a warning to a charter-school chain for failing to comply with an agency order to disclose the salaries of school administrators. The schools have been put on "financial probationary status," which could lead to sanctions if their board does not comply within 10 business days.

 

This is the same charter-school chain, Charter Day School, Inc., that ProPublica wrote about last month. As we reported, the four charter schools channel millions in public education dollars each year to for-profit companies owned by the schools' founder, businessman Baker Mitchell. One of the for-profit companies, Roger Bacon Academy, is paid to run all the day-to-day operations of the schools. As we wrote:

 

Roger Bacon Academy functions as the schools' administrative arm, taking the lead in hiring and firing school staff.

It handles most of the bookkeeping. The treasurer of the nonprofit that controls the four schools is also t he chief financial officer of Mitchell's management company. The two organizations even share a bank account.

Mitchell's management company was chosen by the schools' nonprofit board, which Mitchell was on at the time — an arrangement that is illegal in many other states.

 

Charter schools, which are privately run but government-funded, often outsource back-office functions to private companies. At issue between North Carolina and Mitchell's charter-school chain is the extent to which regulators can demand to know what happens to public dollars once they move into the coffers of a private company.

 

State officials say they have the right to ask for information related to the schools' activities and programs – and that includes salaries of any employees assigned to work at them. Other charter schools in North Carolina have complied and turned over this information. Mitchell's schools are the only ones that have not.

 

In an earlier response to regulators, the schools' board chairman, John Ferrante, stated that the schools are "contractually bound to preserve [the management company's] trade secrets." He also said that the nonprofit does not actually have the salary information for management company employees.

 

In a letter sent by the management company to Ferrante, Mitchell's company said it would turn over the salary information so long as regulators sign an agreement to recognize the information as confidential and exempt it from public disclosure.

 

Through Ferrante, Mitchell declined to comment on regulators' latest demand for salary information.

 

On his blog and in earlier interviews with ProPublica, Baker Mitchell has maintained that private companies operating charter schools should not have to be transparent about their financials or publicly disclose what they pay their employees.

 

Courtesy: ProPublica.org

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Major changes in the New Council of Ministers

The Modi government has made many important changes to the ministers’ portfolios, some of which may have gone unnoticed

 

The Narendra Modi government announced the induction of 21 new ministers to the council of ministers on Sunday. However, apart from these inductions, Modi has made extensive changes to the portfolios of existing ministers too, which may have gone unnoticed. While the major changes such as the induction of Manohar Parrikar as the Minister of Defence and Suresh Prabhu as the Railway Minister have caught the headlines, another major change was Arun Jaitley getting additional charge of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) apart from Finance and Corporate Affairs. I&B was earlier held by Prakash Jawadekar. Former Army Chief Minister of State Gen. VK Singh has been moved from Northeast Development to Statistics and Programme Implementation and continues with his earlier portfolio of External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs. Nirmala Sitharaman has been divested of her Minister of State position of finance and also corporate affairs. Jayant Sinha, son of former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha comes in as Minister of State for Finance.

 

 

Here is the full list of the latest council of ministers…

 

CABINET MINISTERS

 

1. Rajnath Singh: Home Affairs

 

2. Sushma Swaraj: External Affairs, Overseas Indian Affairs

 

3. Arun Jaitley: Finance, Corporate Affairs, Information & Broadcasting

 

4. M Venkaiah Naidu: Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Parliamentary Affairs

 

5. Nitin Jairam Gadkari: Road Transport and Highways, Shipping

 

6. Manohar Parrikar: Defence

 

7. Suresh Prabhu: Railways

 

8. DV Sadananda Gowda: Law & Justice

 

9. Uma Bharati: Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation

 

10. Dr Najma A Heptulla: Minority Affairs

 

11. Ramvilas Paswan: Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution

 

12. Kalraj Mishra: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

 

13. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi: Women and Child Development

 

14. Ananthkumar: Chemicals and Fertilizers

 

15. Ravi Shankar Prasad: Communications and Information Technology

 

16. Jagat Prakash Nadda: Health & Family Welfare

 

17. Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati: Civil Aviation

 

18. Anant Geete: Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises

 

19. Harsimrat Kaur Badal: Food Processing Industries

 

20. Narendra Singh Tomar: Mines, Steel

 

21. Chaudhary Birender Singh: Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation

 

22. Jual Oram: Tribal Affairs

 

23. Radha Mohan Singh: Agriculture

 

24. Thaawar Chand Gehlot: Social Justice and Empowerment

 

25. Smriti Zubin Irani: Human Resource Development

 

26. Dr Harsh Vardhan: Science and Technology, Earth Sciences

 

 

MINISTERS OF STATE

27. Gen VK Singh: Statistics and Programme Implementation (Independent Charge), External Affairs, Overseas Indian Affairs

 

28. Inderjit Singh Rao: Planning (Independent Charge), Defence

 

29. Santosh Kumar Gangwar: Textiles (Independent Charge)

 

30. Bandaru Dattatreya: Labour and Employment (Independent Charge)

 

31. Rajiv Pratap Rudy: Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge), Parliamentary Affairs

 

32. Shripad Yesso Naik: AAYUSH (Independent Charge), Health & Family Welfare

 

33. Dharmendra Pradhan: Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge)

 

34. Sarbananda Sonowal: Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge)

 

35. Prakash Javadekar: Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge)

 

36. Piyush Goyal: Power (Independent Charge), Coal (Independent Charge), New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge)

 

37. Dr Jitendra Singh: Development of North Eastern Region (Independent Charge), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space

 

38. Nirmala Sitharaman: Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge)

 

39. Dr Mahesh Sharma: Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge), Civil Aviation

 

40. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi: Minority Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs

 

41. Ram Kripal Yadav: Drinking Water & Sanitation

 

42. Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary: Home Affairs

 

43. Sanwar Lal Jat: Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation

 

44. Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya: Agriculture

 

45. Giriraj Singh: Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises

 

46. Hansraj Gangaram Ahir: Chemicals & Fertilizers

 

47. GM Siddeshwara: Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises

 

48. Manoj Sinha: Railways

 

49. Nihalchand: Panchayati Raj

 

50. Upendra Kushwaha: Human Resource Development

 

51. Radhakrishnan P.: Road Transport & Highways, Shipping

 

52. Kiren Rijiju: Home Affairs

 

53. Krishan Pal: Social Justice & Empowerment

 

54. Dr Sanjeev Kumar Balyan: Agriculture

 

55. Manuskhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava: Tribal Affairs

 

56. Raosaheb Dadarao Danve: Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution

 

57. Vishnu Deo Sai: Mines, Steel

 

58. Sudarshan Bhagat: Rural Development

 

59. Prof (Dr) Ram Shankar Katheria: Human Resource Development

 

60. YS Chowdary: Science and Technology, Earth Science

 

61. Jayant Sinha: Finance

 

62. Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore: Information & Broadcasting

 

63. Babul Supria (Babul Supriyo) Baral: Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation

 

64. Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti: Food Processing Industries

 

65. Vijay Sampla: Social Justice & Empowerment

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Nifty, Sensex to move sideways – Weekly closing report

Nifty has to strongly rally above 8365 for the rally to continue

 

The S&P BSE Sensex closed the week that ended on 7th November at 27,869 (up 3 points or 0.01%), while the NSE's CNX Nifty ended at 8,337 (up 15 points or 0.18%). Last week, we had mentioned that although the indices have made an all-time high it will continue to drift higher.


In line with our anticipation, on Monday the gap up opening of the Nifty was followed by the index hitting a new life time high. This was followed by the benchmark moving lower but trying to regain strength to move in the green. Ultimately the day ended with the benchmark closing flat. Nifty closed at 8,324 (up 2 points or 0.02%).


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently said that he foresees India’s GDP growth in the range of 5.5% to 5.9% for 2014-15.


Adjusted for seasonal influences, HSBC Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for October 2014 rebounded from September's nine-month low of 51 to 51.6 in October. Manufacturing activity picked up modestly amid stronger output and new order flows, particularly from overseas clients. However, firms continued to trim purchases and refrained from aggressive inventory accumulation, according to the survey. Indian stock markets were closed on Tuesday for Muharram.


On Wednesday the Nifty opened higher and managed making a new life time high for the fourth consecutive session, despite a decline during the mid-session (11.25am to 1.20pm). Nifty closed at 8,338 (up 14 points or 0.17%). Adjusted for seasonal factors, the headline HSBC India Services PMI Business Activity Index fell to 50 in October, from 51.6 in September. Despite rising for the sixth consecutive month, new work intakes in the Indian service sector increased at the weakest pace since May during October.


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at World Economic Forum in New Delhi said that India is open to privatisation of certain loss-making public sector companies. He also said the government will soon unveil reforms for other natural resources sectors along the lines of coal block auctions. The government intends to open railways further to private investment, review tough land purchase rules and relax labour laws, Jaitley said, but insisted the government needed to build support for some of the measures.


The market remained closed on Thursday for Guru Nanak Jayanti.


On Friday, Nifty closed flat in line with what we had mentioned in our Wednesday closing report. Nifty closed at 8,337 (down 1 points or 0.02%). Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently mentioned that focus should be on strict monitoring of projects based on monthly completion targets for road, railway, shipping and civil aviation projects.


Market now looks ahead for the reshuffle of the cabinet that could take place on Sunday.


Among the Nifty stocks, the top five gainers for the week were Zee Entertainment (8%); DLF (8%); Dr. Reddy's Lab (7%); Axis Bank (7%) and Sun Pharma (6%) while the top five losers were Gail (8%); NMDC (8%); Coal India (7%); Hero MotoCorp (6%) and Mahindra & Mahindra (5%).


Of the 1,502 companies on the NSE, 896 companies closed in the green, 561 companies closed in the red while 45 companies closed flat.


Out of the 27 main sectors tracked by Moneylife, top five and the bottom five sectors for this week were:

 

ML Top sector

 

ML Worst sector

 

Real Estate

6%

Steel

-4%

Media

4%

Energy

-3%

Pharma

4%

Non-Ferrous Metals

-3%

Textiles

4%

Lifestyle & Leisure

-2%

Auto Components

2%

Auto

-2%


 

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