Innovative Schools Has Not Been So Innovative With Delaware Met

Innovative Schools does many different things as a charter management organization.  For the Delaware Met, they do Human Resources, Academic, Facilities, Financial, Management Consulting, Operations, and School Models (Big Picture Learning).  For these services, Delaware Met has paid Innovative Schools around $380,000.00 just in FY 2015 alone.  At most charters, this work is handled by 2-3 people: the school leader, a principal, and a business manager.  So what does this say about Innovative Schools and the developments at Delaware Met?

Other schools Innovative Schools has been involved in with in a financial capacity are Academy of Dover, Delaware College Prep, Delaware Military Academy, Family Foundations Academy and Providence Creek Academy.  What do all these charters have in common?  Investigations by the State Auditor’s office for financial abuse, usually with procurement cards.  If Innovative Schools is keeping track of the finances at these schools, how is it all five of them have had individuals abusing finances for their own personal use in some way?  Two of the schools they handled finances for where shut down: Moyer and Reach.  I truly believe the DOE and the State Auditor’s office may want to take a very strong look at Innovative Schools and what role they have played in Delaware charter schools.

For Delaware Met, it seems more and more like Innovative Schools is running the board, not the other way around the way it should be.  Don’t be fooled, Innovative Schools is making all of the decisions.  We can’t just blame Delaware Met, Innovative Schools has played an even bigger role in the failure of this charter that just opened two months ago.  Why is there no School Resource Officer in the school even though it is budgeted in to their 2016 budget?  That could solve a lot of the issues there.  What is Innovative Schools doing?  It seems as if they are holding the school hostage and limiting what they can do.  If the school needs them, Innovative Schools makes more money, pure and simple.

4 thoughts on “Innovative Schools Has Not Been So Innovative With Delaware Met

  1. After the first year, Reach had a business manager and the school handled their own bookkeeping. Innovative Schools was not engaged for any services. They did draft the disasterous Reach charter modification document 2 years ago, which was sloppy and very low quality work. Definitely not “professional services” quality.

    Be careful how you refer to “handling finances”. Innovative Schools performs bookkeeping services. They receive approved invoices and input them into the payables systems for payment. They prefer that the schools themselves code the invoices to indicate which budget code the money should come from. They produce documents that report budget status according to the activity processed. I am not sure what is happening at MET but in other schools, Innovative Schools does not establish the budget. This is a board function as is the definition of budget policy.

    This probably seems very picky, Kevin, but I’m uncomfortable with broad strokes statements in situations like this. You’ve observed it from the outside but not from the inside so certain assumptions or conclusions dream may not be quite accurate or complete. Don’t interpret this as defending IS. I’ve interacted with them in a number of different situations and in most cases have been very unsatisfied.

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