Odyssey Charter School Having Huge Problems, Spent $700,000 Over Budget This Year

It looks like Odyssey Charter School is having some pretty major financial problems in Delaware.   Following many other charters in the past couple years, Odyssey somehow managed to spend $700,000 over their budget this year.

Some highlights from the below board meeting minutes from 5/13/15:

-They spelled “Public” wrong…

-This school continues to run their board meetings like a corporate board meeting and very little is discussed about actual academics at the school, in fact the word “student” is never even mentioned…

-Jennifer Nagourney from the Delaware DOE Charter School Office attended the meeting and reminded the board to make sure they are following FOIA regulations, she also asked the board to give her good news about the school so she can report it to the State Board of Education…

-The board told the administration they need to look at cutting all expenses…

What was the deal with Headmaster Nick Manolakos unbudgeted salary change?  It was rumored he was looking to leave last winter and that he applied for the Providence Creek Academy Principal position.

Could Odyssey be one of the four unmentioned Delaware charter schools being investigated at the State Auditor office?

3 thoughts on “Odyssey Charter School Having Huge Problems, Spent $700,000 Over Budget This Year

  1. Your headline only tells part of the story.

    As noted in the CBOC meeting minutes and the board minutes, the budget issue is related to Odyssey’s well-publicized bond deal for its new facility. https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/local/2015/02/20/state-helps-odyssey-get-million-barley-mill/23744087/&sa=U&ei=xF6LVeHkEdfjoATdzq2YDA&ved=0CA4QFjAB&usg=AFQjCNFuijPfwRL320fwXSXZCJ4Ubv939A. There were up-front costs that will be reimbursed, which is customary for this type of deal.

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    • Lesley, those are Capital expenditures, which should be separate from those of actually running the school. Much of the $700,000 stems from the inability of someone there to figure out teacher salaries and benefits for the year. I would read all of the board minutes to get a clearer picture.

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  2. Thanks to last years epilogue language courtesy of the Joint Finance Committee usurping existing code to the contrary Odyssey Charter was allowed to keep $234,006 in unspent and unused transportation funds with no strings attached. I will do everything in my power to remove that epilogue language from this years budget. Over $1.1 million in unused transportation money allocated specifically to charters for transportation expenses and required in Section 508 of Title 14 to be returned to the taxpayer was kept because the JFC has once again (6 consecutive budgets and counting) put epilogue language in the budget that contradicts and contravenes existing code despite my repeated and persistent requests to remove it. Corruption, malfeasance, arrogance and a great big punch in the mouth of the taxpayer is the gift of the JFC to the citizens of Delaware.

    Representative John Kowalko

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