August, 2019

AUG 29, 2019 – Epic Charter Schools promoting itself with multimillion-dollar advertising campaign, plus $9,000 per month shopping mall playground sponsorships

Turn on the television or radio, get online or even go to a shopping mall and you’re likely to see ads and promotions for the state’s largest virtual school, Epic Charter Schools.

How much is this back-to-school advertising blitz costing? Nearly $2.5 million.

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AUG 30, 2019 – State’s Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team Looking Into Inspire Charter

As NBC 7 Investigates has reported, critics have raised ethical concerns about Inspire. They say there is a lack of oversight on how public money is spent, and say teachers are not adequately reviewing the work of Inspire’s home school students. Inspire denies those allegations and says it has set up its funds to provide choices for families in how to best educate their children.

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AUG 29, 2019 – What happens next for the 600 Nashville students enrolled at Knowledge Academies charter schools?

About 600 students could soon have to find a new school to attend after the city’s school board voted to close Nashville’s Knowledge Academies charter schools by December.

As a result, other nearby public schools in the Antioch area could see potential overcrowding if those students decide to enroll there.

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AUG 28, 2019 – Memphis charter school responds after parents, students voice concerns with first weeks

Parents, students and a former teacher at Southwest Early College High School voiced concerns about the school at a Shelby County School Board meeting Tuesday. They said students don’t have final schedules and the school is not properly staffed or fulfilling its commitment to providing students with an associate’s degree upon graduation.

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AUG 27, 2019 – School board votes to close Knowledge Academies charter schools

The Davidson County School Board voted unanimously to revoke the charters of three charter schools operated by Knowledge Academies.

The board, in separate votes, voted to close Knowledge Academy, KA at the Crossings and Knowledge High School in Antioch at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

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AUG 24, 2019 – White Pine Charter trustees secretly approved electioneering probe

White Pine Charter School trustees secretly agreed to investigate the fairness of a school board election — a decision that cost the school thousands of taxpayer dollars.

The school board never approved the probe — or mentioned tax dollars used to fund it — during an open meeting.

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AUG 23, 2019 – Adams County charter school with civil rights complaint history under investigation

A federal civil rights investigation has been launched at a local charter school with a history of civil rights complaints.

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating allegations of discrimination at Stargate School after parents complained their son had been repeatedly bullied because of his disability and sexually harassed by other students.

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AUG 21, 2019 – Critics Call Inspire Charter School Practices ‘Unethical’

Critics of Inspire accuse the charter of using unethical practices to entice parents and students to leave their current charter schools and go to Inspire. A spokesperson for Inspire says the criticism is the result of the charter school’s “incredible growth.”

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AUG 21, 2019 – Investigators raid online Oklahoma charter school’s vendor

The search warrant affidavit filed Wednesday raises new allegations of embezzlement, forgery and other violations against Epic co-founder and former superintendent David Chaney, chief financial officer Josh Brock, and two present and two former board members.

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AUG 20, 2019 – K12 Inc., Ga. Cyber Academy Contract Battle Brews

Students locked out of their school’s computer systems. Educators unable to get access to some students’ records. Parents receiving emails asking that they return their children’s laptops.

That’s the state of play as K12 Inc., a major for-profit provider of online education, is in the midst of an acrimonious split with the Georgia Cyber Academy. The school, which serves about 11,000 students, is one of the largest virtual schools in the country.

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AUG 19, 2019 – As they ask for more money, two Indiana virtual schools say they are all but closed

As two scandal-plagued virtual charter schools face losing their charters, their attorney appeared before an authorizing board Monday night and described the schools as effectively closed: Students have been told to wrap up their work this week. Teachers haven’t been paid. School bank accounts have been shuttered.

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AUG 19, 2019 – Charter principal has long discipline file. There was no time to find someone else, district says

Ronnie King, the interim principal at Lincoln Memorial Academy charter school, failed to report an allegation of child abuse in 2017, and he recently made derogatory statements to a teacher at his previous school, according to records from his personnel file.

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AUG 17, 2019 – These Two Detroit Students Spoke Up And Now Their Diplomas Are Withheld

Instead of giving traditional farewells, the two salutatorians from Universal Academy’s Class of 2019 proclaimed the school — run by a for-profit management company — was putting profits over students, relying primarily on long-term substitutes who lack teaching certificates and a weak curriculum designed to let students easily pass. 

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AUG 11, 2019 – Less than half of students affected by JFK grade-fixing scandal cleared for graduation

A representative for the charter network New Beginnings Foundation said 24 out of the 53 students submitted to the Louisiana Department of Education have been approved to officially graduate.

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AUG 13, 2019 – San Jose’s Promise Academy won’t open this year

Plans for San Jose’s newest K-8 STEM-driven charter school have come to a halt and now the blame game is in full swing.

Promise Academy was scheduled to open this month, but those plans were dashed last week when officials with the San Jose Unified School District informed academy administrators that it would not be providing the school with space due to concerns over low enrollment.

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AUG 12, 2019 – Parents learn an online school can be hard to reach in a crisis

The public charter school, Georgia’s largest with about 10,000 students, got about $90 million in taxpayer funding last school year. The money is a reason for the chaos: The school has been rocked by a legal battle with the corporation that used to operate it. In an unusually public divorce between an online school and a big vendor, accusations of questionable business practices are flying on social media and in legal documents.

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AUG 11, 2019 – School culture in question

Independence Academy Charter School is plagued by a culture of fear, discrimination and retaliation that led to two federal discrimination investigations and staff turnover, current and former employees told The Daily Sentinel.

Teachers, custodians and administrators allege that an entrenched, self-elected Board of Directors and two former executive directors uninterested in addressing issues contributed to the school’s problems.

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AUG 09, 2019 – Harriet Tubman Charter School closes its doors for the school year

The new school, which is located in the West End, was set to open its doors for the first time on August 5th, but that never happened. Even worse, on Friday, the school released a statement saying in part that they school would delay its opening until the next school year.

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AUG 08, 2019 – Philly charter school on the brink of closing after losing payments from School District

Philadelphia’s Eastern University Academy Charter School is suing the School District for stopping its payments after a state appeals board vote in June to close the charter.

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AUG 06, 2019 – How a Truly Epic Charter School Fraud Unfolded in Oklahoma

An Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation revealed that the co-founders of the state’s largest virtual charter school system, Epic Charter Schools, David Chaney and Ben Harris, split at least $10 million in profits from 2013 to 2018.

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AUG 06, 2019 – Parents seek answers after construction delays opening of Osceola County charter school

Parents in Osceola County are voicing their frustrations after seeing that a school set to open next week hasn’t completed its construction.

Parents at the Osceola Science Construction School told Channel 9 they haven’t been getting any answers from the school on what’s going on.

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AUG 06, 2019 – West End charter school unable to hold class

The first week of school at the Harriet Tubman charter school is off to an unconventional start to the year.

The Harriet Tubman School of Science and Technology was supposed to open their doors for the first time on Monday, but that didn’t happen. When the school failed to receive its occupancy certificate from the City of Atlanta, they were told they could not hold classes at the school. 

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AUG 05, 2019 – Nearly 40% of charter school buses new standards set after Eyewitness Investigation

Although some charter schools have already started, only 39 buses meant to serve those schools have fully passed safety inspection.

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AUG 05, 2019 – School Board, Mason Classical Academy to vote on settlement agreement following mediation

Disputes between the Collier County School Board and Mason Classical Academy, which peaked in June after the school district’s General Counsel Jon Fishbane concluded a yearlong investigation into the charter school, could end in a settlement. 

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AUG 04, 2019 – A top D.C. charter school educates few at-risk students. Should it be opening a second campus?

In the District, about 46 percent of students are considered at-risk, which means they are homeless or in foster care, their families qualify for public assistance, or they have been held back more than a year in high school.

At Washington Latin, just 7 percent of middle school students are considered at-risk, and 16 percent of high school students meet the definition.

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AUG 03, 2019 – Indianapolis charter school for troubled youth closes days before school starts

A struggling Indianapolis charter school designed to serve the city’s most troubled youth will close just days before the beginning of the school year, officials said Friday.

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AUG 01, 2019 – Epic Charter Schools’ expansion into Texas in limbo amid new revelations about criminal investigation

Epic Charter Schools’ expansion into Texas has been halted just a few weeks before the start of the new school year.

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AUG 01, 2019 – Feds open investigation of Lincoln Memorial Academy charter school, former officials

The U.S. Department of Education has opened an investigation into possible fraud, bribery and other crimes connected to Lincoln Memorial Academy, a charter school in Palmetto, and its former principal, Eddie Hundley.

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AUG 01, 2019 – ‘A Classic Conflict of Interest’: Entangled Business Deals at Charter School Chain Learn4Life

An executive vice president at Learn4Life, a nonprofit network of more than 60 charter schools, discovered a way to collect not just one, but two paychecks from California’s cash-strapped public school system. 

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AUG 02, 2019 – Gureghian charter school cut corners ‘for money’s sake,’ N.J. ex-principal says in suit

A former New Jersey charter school principal says she was fired after raising concerns about illegal practices at the school, managed by Gladwyne entrepreneur Vahan Gureghian’s company.

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