“We knew they were beginning the
school year under a deficit,” Couch wrote in an email to Duval Superintendent
“Do you think the Board should have been notified of the declining financial
status of the school so we could make the determination how we wanted to
proceed so as not to disrupt student academic learning during this pivotal time
of the year? I am disturbed that we have been completely blind-sided by this
when according to state statute the Charter School is required to provide an
annual audit report and monthly financial statements.”
Years ago I had a student poop themselves, just go. I asked them, do you
think you should have told me you needed to go? Even though I phrased it like a
question, like Couch did, I already knew the answer and like her I was
disturbed by what happened.
Also from the Times Union: Duval’s school district officials also sent a
warning letter to Acclaim in April (weeks before they abruptly closed), the
last step before a 90-day countdown to close the school.
Couch asked Vitti why, if the district knew of a significant deficit before
the school year started, it did not start the closure process then?
Vitti said district staff acted as quickly as they could to ensure students
were enrolled in other schools and that the charter school’s contract with the
district gives it time to revise its budgets, correct spending and find the
money to stay open.
He said he didn’t know that district staff had sent Acclaim the warning
letter in April until afterward, but he trusts his staff’s judgment and feels
they acted appropriately.
“Had the charter organization submitted a corrective action plan by May 15
that was inadequate, which we now know it would have been, then we would have
likely made the recommendation to the board to close the school,” Couch said in
an email to Vitti.
So let me recap the district knew at the beginning of the year the school didn’t
have the enrollment to support its program, at the beginning of the year, but
they let them proceed anyways. In April, weeks before it closed district
officials sent a letter outlining their concerns, a letter, Vitti and the board
had no idea about. I get it they are busy people but really come on, a school
is on the brink of closing should make the cut list of things they should be
told and know about.
After I typed above I stared at my computer my mouth open a little simply
speechless. Does above seem like a district that is firing on all cylinders or
that has its act together. Our board and super really appear clueless and ineffective
and sadly this is not the first time either.
They need to sort their house out.