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06/13/2023 - As Charter School Prepares To Open Jefferson Park Campus, NW Side Public School Advocates Push Back

Parents, public education advocates and numerous community groups say they don’t want a Northwest Side charter school to expand into the closed Our Lady of Victory Catholic school building in the fall.

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04/19/2023 - Urban Prep Academies could be turned over to Chicago Public Schools after state denies appeal

At the time, the Chicago school board cited the charter network’s mismanaged finances and its response to a sexual misconduct investigation involving Urban Prep’s founder, which were uncovered by a report by Chicago Public Schools’ Inspector General.

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11/17/2022 - Urban Prep loses charter agreement for last Chicago campus

After months of controversy surrounding Urban Prep Academy, the Illinois board of education ended the charter school’s agreement for its downtown campus Thursday, citing enrollment declines.

The move marks the latest blow to the nationally recognized charter network that specializes in serving Black boys on Chicago’s South and West Sides.

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10/26/2022 - Chicago school board moves to take over once-lauded charter serving Black boys

Chicago’s school board moved Wednesday to take over two South Side charter campuses that specialize in serving Black boys — an unprecedented step to pull the school’s charter but preserve an academic model officials acknowledged has delivered for many students.

School board members voted unanimously to revoke the Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men’s charter. They forcefully rejected the school’s arguments for more time to prove they are on the right track, and voicing dismay at the school’s response to a sexual misconduct investigation involving the school’s founder.

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08/03/2022 - Urban Prep Academy administrator resigns after misconduct investigation

An administrator at Urban Prep Academy has resigned after an investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct with a student.

The charter school, widely praised for its success with young Black men, are no longer under the leadership of its nationally recognized president.

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08/03/2022 - Sexual misconduct investigation forces out lauded charter school leader Tim King, sources say

A Chicago Public Schools inspector general’s report substantiating allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with a student forced Tim King, the lauded head of a prominent charter school network, to resign last week, sources told WBEZ.

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06/30/2022 - Celebrated all-boys charter school in Chicago cited by CPS for ‘dismal’ financial management

For years, a charter school network in Chicago was celebrated nationally for getting 100% of its Black male graduates admitted to college. Its founder was once even named “hero of the year” by People Magazine.

But behind the scenes Urban Prep Charter Academies has been mired in such deep financial trouble that Chicago Public Schools officials say they have “grave concerns” about its sustainability, WBEZ has learned.

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12/14/2021 - Staff at Bronzeville charter school fear possible closure

Teachers and staff at Youth Connection Leadership Academy, an alternative high school in Bronzeville, fear their school could be closed.

They said the charter operator that runs the school, Youth Connection Charter School, is seeking a new home for the school, which is currently located at 3424 S. State St. The union believes if management can’t find one, the school will be shuttered.

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06/01/2021 - CTU educators consider striking Epic charter in wake of retaliatory firings of union leaders

Educators had landed a tentative agreement on a first contract in late May. During the union’s ratification process, Epic’s Executive Director LeeAndra Khan terminated four workers — including three on the negotiating committee. Epic’s executive director most recently worked as CEO of Chicago’s Civitas schools, a charter operator with a history of anti-union, anti-educator policies that provoked the longest charter strike in US history in February 2019.

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11/06/2020 - Concept Schools charter chain to pay $4.5 million to end federal investigation

Concept Schools Inc., a politically connected charter school chain based in the northwest suburbs, has agreed to pay $4.5 million to end a long-running federal investigation into allegations it improperly steered federally funded technology contracts to “chosen vendors.”

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11/04/2020 - Illinois-based Concept Schools to pay $4.5 million federal settlement

An Illinois-based charter school with buildings in Lorain and other Ohio cities will pay a $4.5 million settlement to resolve federal fraud allegations.

The Federal Communications Commission alleged Concept Schools violated the False Claims Act by violating competitive bidding requirements in regards to a program that subsidizes equipment and internet access services for needy public schools.

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10/22/2020 - One Of Chicago’s Largest Charter Schools Accused Of Failing To Dismantle Culture Of Racism

Teachers and parents at Acero Schools, one of the largest charter school networks in Chicago, say school leaders are not doing enough to eradicate what they describe as a culture of racism that doesn’t do enough to support its mostly Hispanic students.

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