Tonight, the Public Charter School Board (PCSB) voted unanimously to initiate revocation of the charter for the Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter School (CAPCS), pursuant to its authority under the School Reform Act (SRA). PCSB acted after staff recommended such action because of the school’s engagement in a pattern of fiscal mismanagement and violation of the SRA as a result of the CAPCS Board’s breach of its fiduciary duties. Board Member Barbara Nophlin recused herself from the vote.
Under the SRA, the PCSB Board must revoke a school’s charter if it determines that the school has engaged in a pattern of fiscal mismanagement and may revoke a school’s charter if the school has committed a violation of applicable law. Staff found that CAPCS engaged in both.
PCSB staff found that the pattern of fiscal mismanagement included the misuse of public funds in two ways. First, CAPCS paid two different entities – Community Action Partners and Charter School Management LLC (CAPCSM) and CAPCS staff – for the same services over the course of at least two years. Second, CAPCS paid an unreasonable amount to CAPCSM pursuant to the management agreement given the services CAPCSM performed.
PCSB staff also found that CAPCS has committed a violation of the SRA because the CAPCS board breached its fiduciary duties by permitting the school to make these double payments and to pay CAPCSM an unreasonable amount. While PCSB staff has no current concerns regarding the school’s compliance with its charter or its educational program, the school’s pattern of fiscal mismanagement and violation of applicable law led the Board to initiate revocation proceedings.
Much of the information that led to this action is from Judge Neal Kravitz’s ruling on a motion for preliminary injunction, as part of a court proceeding initiated on June 2, 2014 by the Office of the Attorney General against CAPCS, CAPCSM, and CAPCSM CEO Kent Amos.
Because the PCSB Board voted to initiate revocation proceedings, the school is entitled to request an informal public hearing to make a presentation to the PCSB Board.
CAPCS has four schools—one in Ward 4, two in Ward 5 and an online program—that serve 1,573 students in grades PK to 8. The first school opened in 1998.
We encourage the public to read our blog, visit our website and follow us on Twitter (@dcpcsb) for the latest information.
Watch the video from the meeting
After learning that the school has engaged in a pattern of fiscal mismanagement by misusing public funds, the Board voted to initiate revocation of the school’s charter.