Texas Legislature Badly Needs To Pass Safeguards for All Charter Schools

Jun 12, 2012 by

Gulen

by Donna Garner –

This happened in Georgia (article posted below). The same thing could be occurring in Texas in the Turkish Gulen-Cosmos Foundation-Harmony Charter Schools. This is why we badly need safeguards for all charter schools.

Here are two sets of charter school safeguards that have been proposed for states to implement into their charter school requirements:

1. That a financial audit conducted under generally accepted accounting practices by an independent, reputable auditor be required – and publicly available – from any charter school operator applying for bond guarantees or other financial incentives;

2. That the name, address, and citizenship of all board members and key administrators applying for said guarantee(s) or other financial incentives issued by the state be recorded and made available to the public;

3. That the funds in the underlying bonds or other financial incentives to privately owned, publicly financed schools are to be used solely for schools within Texas;

4. Severe criminal penalties for fraudulent activities involving bond guarantees or other financial incentives issued by states – such as a Class 2 Felony for criminal or securities fraud violations.

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Safeguards proposed in the 82nd Legislative Session in Texas but did not get passed:

1. Proof of U. S. citizenship for all charter school operator board members and top five highest-paid administrators. (Public ISD trustees must be U. S. citizens.)

2. Names, titles, and biographies posted online for all charter operator board members and top five highest-paid administrators.

3. Check registers posted online. (Over 70 % of local ISD dollars are online.)

 

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

 

 

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http://www.northfulton.com/Articles-TOP-STORIES-c-2012-06-11-193668.114126-sub-Management-problems-at-FSA-go-back-10-years.html

 

Management problems at FSA go back 10 years

 

Fulton School System officials stepped in to try to solve ‘serious problems’

by Candy Waylock

 

 

 

June 11, 2012

 

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – The management issues cited at the Fulton Science Academy in a recent audit have apparently been in place since the school opened, and may have laid the groundwork for its eventual demise as a publicly funded charter school.

The inaugural school year was only halfway through in 2003 when Fulton County School System officials were drawn into what was described as “serious problems” on the governing board of the FSA. According to a news article published in March 2003 in Appen Newspapers, “a serious rift has developed on the [FSA] board of directors over who is in control, essentially splitting the seven-member board into two factions with each side accusing the other of illegal activities.”

Parent members of the school’s governing board sought to remove the principal, Selim Ozdemir, but maintained they were stymied by the founding trustees who essentially took over as the majority on the governing board.

The founding board originated the charter for the school and was responsible only for running the nonprofit aspects of the school.

Parent members of the governing board said the trustees were supposed to cease activities related to the management of the school once the governing board was in place. Instead, the trustees appointed themselves into control of the governing board.

At the time, FSA was struggling with an enrollment of just over 200 students, after starting the year with 300.

Parents sought to dismiss Ozdemir because of what they saw as “the heavy-handedness of the school administrators” that caused the drop in students. They also noted much of the problem was culturally based, noting the principal, all three members of the founding board, as well as a significant number of faculty members, were Turkish.

Ozdemir remained as principal for five more years, at which time he became the director of the Grace Institute, which served as a quasi-vendor to FSA. Ozdemir was paid more than $100,000 a year in that position for two years.

The recent audit by the Fulton School System questioned what, if any, services or products were supplied by Grace, which received more than $500,000 from FSA in just the past two years, and which employed several former and current staff members.

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