PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Urban Pathways Charter School Board met this week to discuss a KDKA Investigation’s findings of runaway spending. But they were in no talking mood with us.

KDKA’s Andy Sheehan: “Do you have any concerns about these expenditures?”

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Board Member Sam Reich: “I’m not prepared to discuss that, Mr. Sheehan.”

Sheehan: “Will you be discussing them tonight.”

Reich: “I’m not prepared to discuss that either.”

And they locked us outside.

Sheehan: “This should be an open meeting?”

Building Security Guard: “Sir, I don’t know anything about that. All I’ve been told is that’s it board members only.”

Sheehan: “Boardmembers only?”

The school spent tens of thousands of dollars at top restaurants, on top flight catering at every staff and school meeting and administration and board retreats to exclusive resorts and spas.

Sheehan: “Seems like there’s no accountability.”

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Pa. Sen. Jay Costa: “Well, we have to take steps to address accountability. That’s exactly what’s part of the conversation going on in Harrisburg right now.”

Sen. Costa is co-sponsoring a bill in that would require more oversight on the spending at charter and cyber charter schools.

“We certainly believe that accountability and transparency… how these resources are being spent needs to be reviewed on a more efficient basis, more thorough basis,” said Sen. Costa.

But after meeting for three hours, board members remained mum.

Sheehan: “Is there any action contemplated by the board.”

Board Member: “I have no comment.”

Sheehan: “Don’t you believe there should be some public accountability.”

Board Member: “I have no comment at this time.”

The school’s spending has become the focus of an FBI investigation, the subject on an inquiry by the Pittsburgh Public School and has taken center stage in the debate in Harrisburg over charter schools, and yet, the school and its board members have little or nothing to say.

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FBI, Pittsburgh School Dist. Now Involved In Urban Pathways Investigation (11/11/13)
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