Thursday, August 4, 2011

Charter Terminated

On Wednesday, after a long tense meeting, BESE terminated the charter of Pelican Foundation to operate the Abramson Charter School in New Orleans. The school will continue to operate as a direct run school under the Recovery District. The Board acted to approve the recommendation of Acting Superintendent Ollie Tyler who supplied the Board with a devastating packet of documentation for the numerous allegations of wrongdoing at the school over the last two years. (Click on this link to the BESE packet and scroll down to the documents presented to BESE

Pelican Foundation leaders had packed the BESE meeting room with bussed-in parents and children in addition to Foundation attorneys. The Pelican Foundation attorneys are challenging the charter termination partly on the grounds that they were not provided adequate due process by the Dept. and the Board. Due process is apparently a right that was not afforded to the teachers and staff who were fired after they exposed the wrong doing at Abramson.

Several members of the Coalition for Louisiana Public Education including this blogger asked the Board to tighten its monitoring of charter schools and to adopt a policy to protect whistle blowers who report violations by charters. The Board was presented with a list of questions about Department delays and improper handling of allegations about Abramson and other charters.

In a memo to the Board, Superintendent Tyler outlined a preliminary plan to improve monitoring and oversight of charters. BESE approved a motion requiring such a plan be presented to the Board.

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