Big Changes At Family Foundations Academy: Moore & Brewington Terminated With Cause, Board Members Resign

At the Family Foundations Academy Board meeting last night, Sean Moore and Dr. Tennell Brewington, previously suspended with leave, were terminated by the board.  This ends their long tenure with the school amidst allegations of financial impropriety and mismanagement.

Two other board members, Byron Brooks and Gregory Smith resigned.  Out of the original board, only Monnica May and Rayne Fletcher remain.  There were five new additions to the board: Jocelyn Stewart, Faculty member Jason Casper, and three Eastside Charter Board members are coming over to the FFA board- Charlie McDowell, Thomas Humphrey and Charles Tolliver.  Sadly, I was not given any consideration in my bid for a board seat.  I think I’ll be okay.

With the new board, there is much more diversity.  Previously, the board had been all mostly all male African-Americans, but now there are four Caucasian and three African-American members with two of them being female and five male.  Dr. Lamont Browne from Eastside Charter will be supervising the situation at Family Foundations for the foreseeable future.

The big question will be if these changes are enough for the Delaware Department of Education, who will decide on the embattled school’s charter renewal this Thursday, January 15th, at the State Board of Education meeting.  Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and the State Board will determine if the school will remain open after the end of this school year.

My Public Comment for Family Foundations Academy, Emailed to DE DOE Charter School Office

Tomorrow is the deadline for public comment on the charter renewal for Family Foundations Academy.  The Delaware Department of Education will accept public comment until the end of the day.  Please email them or go to the DOE website and look under  infocso@doe.k12.de.us

I have gone ahead and emailed my public comment, and I will let you all see it:

Dear Secretary of Education Mark Murphy,

Since the news broke in the media about Family Foundations Academy on December 12th on Kilroy’s Delaware, I have investigated this charter school extensively. I have found many of the same financial inconsistencies the auditor Auphsite Consulting found, and perhaps some more. We shall see when Delaware State Auditor Tom Wagner’s office finishes their audit. The vast amount of state money being spent by the two heads of school is disgusting and abhorrent. Schools are not administration’s personal ATM machine. For this reason alone, I find it impossible to understand how the board of this school did not know this was happening for all these years.

The fact that so much of the Board was made up of fraternity brothers from the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity shows such a vile conflict of interest that is beyond insane. I have heard from many people via email or comments on my blog and they have shared stories with me. Many of them I have not printed because they are the worst stories that can be told about children. Some of the stories I have shared have included the following: cheating on DCAS testing, many relationships happening among professionals at the school, teachers not receiving state raises, administration asking teachers to donate part of their pay, and much more.

The one article I wrote which bothered me the most was the child with a 504 plan who was discussed during an open public board meeting. The minutes for it can be found here:

http://www.familyfoundationsacademy.org/ourpages/auto/2014/10/16/35343210/2014-12-02%20-%20Board%20Meeting%20Minutes.pdf

During this meeting the exact action of the student with the 504 was discussed. While the minutes state the child was never mentioned by name, written records in your complaints indicate the child was named and a commenter on my blog indicated this as well. This is a complete violation of everything special education is supposed to be. This child has rights, and something like this should have been handled in the board’s executive session, not in an open forum.  It is not only a violation of the child’s Section 504 rights under The Office Of Civil Rights, it is also a FERPA violation to discuss a child’s disability during a public meeting like this.  Even if the child was not identified, the traits that were discussed in the board minutes make this poor child easily identifiable.

I have also heard from a few teachers that a special education student that received a 4 on both the Math and English/Language Arts DCAS test during the 2013-2014 school year recently transferred to their local public school district from Family Foundations Academy. This district is dumbfounded as to how this child could have done so remarkably well on DCAS when the child cannot read.  So how do we truly know if this school did as well with the academic performance framework?  We don’t.

I have read all the public comments the parents have submitted, and while I appreciate them, it seems there is a rot in the foundation of this school. I don’t know if it can be removed, but how many children have been victims of the games this school has played? How many children are years behind and parents are oblivious to this fact because they are simply going by DCAS scores to determine the educational proficiency of their child?

I am not sure what your decision will be on this Secretary Murphy, but I know these children deserve better. The deceptiveness that has occurred at this school is beyond measure. I sincerely hope all of the past misdeeds of this school will come out so parents know exactly what has happened there.  While I have no child there, and I don’t even live in the county where this school resides, it reflects poorly on the reputation of Delaware schools that events of this magnitude could occur for years with no one the wiser.

While many parents are calling for the reinstatement of Dr. Tennell Brewington, I do not feel this would be a wise decision on the school’s part.  She was half of the main problems there, and she needs to carry half the responsibility for the problems that happened under her watch.

No matter what happens, this shows a need for recording of all school board meetings in the state of Delaware so the public can have a chance to hear what exactly goes on at these meetings. As well, a greater oversight of the financial transactions of all schools in Delaware, especially charter schools, needs to happen now.  While other decisions on priority schools are being weighed at this time as well, it might be prudent to take a look at the whole nature of judging schools by standardized test scores.  If a school can cheat on these tests, it can throw the entire state off in terms of proficiency.  Until it can be proven that NO school has done this, these test scores should not be used for anything.  I have to believe that most educators would never stoop so low as to allow this to happen, but if there is even a very small shadow of a doubt, we owe our students more than this.

Thank you,

Kevin Ohlandt

Since there are now allegations of standardized test cheating going on, it would look very foolish on Mark Murphy’s part to keep this school open and not accept the MOUs from Christina and Red Clay Consolidated School District.

 

**UPDATED**What Happened At Family Foundations Academy Today-Reporters, DOE & Letters, Oh My!

I just got this email:

  • Concerned Too 
  • Today at 5:03 PM

 

To
  • me
 

More Truly Bizarre Family Foundations Academy Stories Surface

More stories from Family Foundations Academy are coming to light, and strange doesn’t even begin to describe them.  All sources who have provided these stories have elected to remain anonymous for their own reasons.

One educator advised they did donate part of their paycheck during the school’s “troubled financial crisis” back in 2008, but never received their two promised personal days off.  In fact, the school discouraged employees from taking their state allotted 10 days off.  When teachers were out, their classes of 30 or more were cut in half and put in other classes, which would give classroom sizes of 45 or higher!

A certain office assistant from many years ago sure liked money.  The school had a company they contracted for school pictures.  Apparently, this company would grant those pictures for free to employees of the school.  This office assistant would tell the company certain parents were employees when they weren’t, charged the parents, and kept the money for their own benefit.  This same employee was also in charge of collecting lunch money, but I imagine the amount of food going out was a lot higher than the money coming in.  When called out on this by an admin, another admin came to her defense because this employee also served as a “liason” arranger for this admin in setting up “rendezvous” meetings with the other admin.

At one point, the school arranged for a trip to The White House.  As a brother in the infamous fraternity the school is associated with, the school used the frat brother’s bus company for the trip.  The bus broke down, and had to return to the school.  The bus company agreed to reschedule the trip for free, but an admin charged parents again for the field trip, and kept the money.

The school received funding from Race To The Top, and spent some of this money on a company called Tutoring Works.  Would you like to take a wild guess what fraternity is part of the owner of that company’s profile?  Would you believe only fraternity brothers and one admin were allowed to perform these Saturday tutoring sessions?

Some of the charges by the school have been confirmed.  At one point, the school charged parents and students for a trip to a 76ers game, with a promise of the bus ride, the game, and a dinner.  Unfortunately, hungry parents and children only received a hot dog in tin foil, no drink, and not everyone got a hot dog…  One admin sure loved Arizona Iced Tea, and would purchase many cases of it from a certain wholesale club.  As well as other lots of treats and goodies.

Apparently “motels” was a popular word in texts between parents and certain employees at the school.  So much so that jealousy soon caused considerable rifts.

When FFA was administering the DSTP tests, one teacher would block all the windows with paper and would place candy on the correct answers while the students were taking the test.  This teacher would NOT open the locked door until all the tests were done and in their bag.

Apparently many teachers who were fired or quit due to tyrannical control by admin, many teachers went to the Christina School District.  One admin actually left FFA for the day to see all the teachers at the different schools.  Apparently these were insane moments…

I’m sure there will be more stories that come out, but in the meantime I have not heard back from anyone at Family Foundations Academy about my formal request for a seat on their board.

In the meantime, parents, teachers and concerned citizens, please make formal public comment with the DOE.  Please include your name, and any witnesses to these events.  There are certain laws against retaliation, and the more of you that speak up, the stronger the statements.  I have no clue what will happen with this school in terms of any DOE decision on their charter renewal, but all the allegations and stories about them clearly show this is a school that was run by people who did not have the best interest of students in mind.  If they are to stay open, any admin, staff, or board member associated with any of these allegations needs to be terminated.  As well, any connection with any vendor affiliated with “the frat” needs to be eliminated as a vendor and all future vendors should be on a contract through the state contract system.

 

 

Both Moore & Brewington Out At Family Foundations Academy, Looking For New Board Members….Should I?

According to an email sent to all Family Foundations parents the other day, both Sean Moore and Tennell Brewington are out as the heads of school at Family Foundations Academy.

January 2, 2015

Parents and Families of  Family Foundations Academy students:

The Board of Directors and leadership team of  Family Foundations Academy have been working over the Holiday break to assure a smooth return to classes on Monday, January 5 and wanted to update you on events of the past month.

Staffing  Changes.  As was done with Dr. Brewington, Mr. Moore was placed on a 90-day personal leave of absence.  As a result of the Board meeting and work session on New Year’s Eve, the Board determined that Ms. Kathleen Connor, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at the Middle School, will assume the role of interim Chief Administrative Officer.  Ms. Connor has been in education for 22 years, and served as Principal of schools in Wilmington for a decade.  Amy Novosel will serve as interim Chief Academic Officer – a role she had unofficially assumed over the past two months.  Ms. Monique Dolcy will continue as School Climate Director, a role she assumed this fall.   Ms. Ismay Da Costa will continue as Finance Manager, a role she assumed a month ago.  No other staffing changes were made.
 
A School United. The Board and the leadership team participated in a Saturday training on December 13 to ensure a renewed spirit of communication  and collaboration around FFA’s mission and values.  Among the topics were the governance function of the Board, where the duties of Board and the staff intersect, and how to appropriately raise concerns to the Board.  The leadership team then considered the length of the school day, demonstrating communication skills which helped bring all participants together as “A School United”.

Board Changes.  At the January 20 Board meeting, the Board will be considering additions to the Board of Directors.  At the December 22 Board meeting, teacher David Alston stepped down from the Board.   Jason Casper, a 4th and 5th grade teacher in his third year at FFA with extensive business experience, will be considered to replace him. If you are interested in being considered for a Board position, please contact Board Governance Committee Chair Monnica May at (302) 887-0346 (monnica.may@state.de.us).

Charter Renewal Update.  The final decision on FFA’s charter renewal has been postponed until January 15. The public comment period has been extended to January 12.  If you would like to submit a letter or e-mail in support of FFA and its charter renewal, please feel free to contact Mrs. Pat Brooks, FFA’s Satisfaction Officer at (302) 324-8901, ext. 281 or e-mailto: patricia.brooks@ffa.k12.pa.us

“Support FFA” Rally on Thursday.  A “Support FFA” rally will be held on Thursday, January 8 at 2 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at the Elementary School.  Please contact Ms. Dolcy, School Climate Director, at (302)324-8901, ext. 306 ( HYPERLINK “mailto:mdolcy@ffa.k12.de.us” mdolcy@ffa.k12.de.us ) if you can attend.

 We are looking forward to moving FFA forward together.

Ms Kathleen Connor, Interim Chief Administrative Officer
Ms. Amy Novosel, Interim Chief Academic Officer 

cc: Board of Directors of  FFA

You know what, you only live once!  What the hell, I have just as much chance as anyone else not in Kappa Alpha Psi!

  • me
  • Today at 12:30 PM

 

To
  • monnica.may@state.de.us

Uh-oh! Looks like we got a bleeder here! What has Family Foundations Academy done now?

Yes, I know.  Not another Family Foundations article.  When’s he going to do the long-awaited Rodel follow-up?  As my friend Wilson Jomama once said about another recent charter scandal, it’s like staring at the sun.

Please enjoy the theme music while we look at yet another big oops at this Wilmington charter school.  As mentioned initially on Kilroy’s first FFA Explosion article by a parent, their December 2nd Board meeting had a rather public situation involving a special needs student.  Please read the minutes from this meeting.  While this school has clear transparency issues, this outing of a student was about as transparent as Saran Wrap!

So what did they do wrong?  They looked like pretty concise board minutes to me.  But there’s just that tiny, little baby of a hiccup called student privacy.  I was shocked when I saw a parent commenting on this on Kilroy’s, but to actually see it in their board minutes was shocking!

kevinaftershave

Yes, they fully revealed a student discipline problem of a student on a 504 plan.  While they didn’t reveal the name of the student, which they proudly boasted in their meeting minutes, unless they have multiple students who bite, kick and hit teachers, this student is easily identifiable.  Not only is this a violation of FERPA, but also Section 504 which is protected by the Office of Civil Rights.  Why the hell would they discuss a discipline issue with a particular student in a public forum like that?  And one with special needs?

It looks like this may have been a cover.  Not that the student wasn’t experiencing those issues (Lord only knows what fresh hell that poor kid was going through at this school), but it was also an impetus for a spotlight to be shown on Dr. Tennell Brewington.  In the minutes there is a whole part about her not using the Child Study Team and the Climate Team to help this student.  Here’s a novel idea, maybe they should have used an IEP Team!!!!  Sorry, no matter what this student may have done as a manifestation of their disability, this public roasting of this student has many violations.  If I were the parent of this student, I would not only be contacting the FERPA department at the US DOE, but also the OCR Office as well.

By the end of the meeting, after executive session, it was announced Dr. Brew was going on a 90 day paid leave of absence.  No explanation was given, but that’s none of our damn business when you read the harsh notes at the end when a member of the public DARED to ask about it.  I wonder what could have caused such a rift between Brewmoore?  Could it…no…maybe…possibly have been a… sorry folks, this isn’t Soap Opera Digest!

Staring at the sun indeed!  If that other recent charter school scandal caused some sun glare, this one is a Super Nova!

If you are sad the holidays are over, do not lament, because Family Foundations Academy is like the gift that keeps on giving…and giving…and giving…and giving!

 

 

 

A Family Foundations Academy Blast From The Past, I’d Love To See Them Try This Now

This was sent to me today about Family Foundations Academy.  This is actually kind of funny given their current financial upheaval.

—–Original Message—–
From: “Tennell Brewington” <tbrewington@ffa.k12.de.us>
Sent 1/11/2008 8:03:18 AM

(teacher emails not included for privacy reasons)

Hello all,

Please know I would not ask of you what I would not do myself.  In light of the budget situation cuts are still needed.  (If I don’t get this credit card paid, someone will figure it out.  Who am I kidding?  No one looks at this stuff!)

I am asking staff if they would contribute between 3% and 5% of their annual salary back to the budget.  (I would go with 5, it’s easier to figure out my cut!)

I have to consider “thinking outside the box” to help us be successful.  (I’m almost at the credit limit.  This is an emergency!!!)

This would be a temporary deduction just until July of 08.  Your salary would go back to its normal amount. (If you’re still here… suckers!)

If we make it through this fiscal year we can consider bonuses again that would be applied in September.  (Bonus…that reminds me.  Did I give myself my weekly bonus last paycheck?)

I will be giving back $10,000 of my salary to the budget.  (But I’ll double it with your donations!!! Cha-ching!)

I would prefer to give back than to let go of my wonderful family members whom I have grown to love and appreciate.  (And manipulate and cheat)

You are not required to do this.  Please do the calculation and what you feel you can spare is appreciated. (More than you know!  I saw a sapphire necklace that is so me!)

If you can not I sincerely understand. (But please know, you may not be here much longer)

If you are able and willing to give back, please respond only to me with the amount you are willing to give back.  The amount would be spread over the remaining pays for the school year which is 15. (Spread… I have to get a new bedspread.  ____ doesn’t like the one I have)

Thanks,

Tennell

Dr. Tennell Brewington

Director

—–Original Message—–
From: “Tennell Brewington” <tbrewington@ffa.k12.de.us>
Sent 1/11/2008 9:12:45 AM

Yeah, I’m sure teachers were okay with this.  No cause for alarm.

Subject: FW: Family Support

Clarification

I want everyone to understand that the give back you are willing to do will not guarantee that I will not have to let staff go. (But the give back you are NOT willing to do puts you on my naughty list so count your days)

I am trying to be as creative as possible to avoid this action, but it may still be necessary in order the contributions to help.  (Give them something to be afraid of.  They are like puddy in my hands)

In the event that I do have to let staff go, this would only apply to those staff remaining with us. (Those who contribute to the Tennell mortgage payment fund)

Thanks again for your consideration.

Tennell

Dr. Tennell BrewingtonDirector

Four hours and twenty minutes later, and I’m still getting the “Whatchu talkin’ ’bout Willis” looks from everyone.  This has got to stop!  Amazon has a new watch going up in their daily deal in five minutes!

From: “Tennell Brewington” <tbrewington@ffa.k12.de.us>
Sent 1/11/2008 12:23:47 PM

Please give me your money so I can go get a foot massage today.  If you don’t, I can’t guarantee you will keep your job.  But everything is okay!

Subject: Family Support

Hello all,

Please if you have any questions please speak with me.

I am glad to answer any questions.

Just to reiterate the request is to get the school through this fiscal year.

The budget was set with a higher enrollment this year.

Unfortunately, due to the unsatisfactory work of specific individuals who are no longer here their work severely impacted the budget and revenue.

This does not affect next year.

We expect and will secure an enrollment of 350 to 375.

All teachers who remain will have first choice of grade assignments and all teachers who remain will be given job choice first before we hire new teachers.  New teachers will not be hired until after 9/30.

Again, please do not spread rumors or incorrect information.

Please speak with me.

Thanks,

Tennell

Dr. Tennell Brewington

Director

Those pesky teachers.  Starting rumors and innuendo when I was just asking them to give up some of their teacher salary.  Who do those teachers think they are?  This isn’t a public school district, all must come to me.

From: “Tennell Brewington” <tbrewington@ffa.k12.de.us>
Sent 1/12/2008 9:21:19 AM

Subject: Thank you

Hello all,

Your support to help the school is more than I could ever pray for. (Dear God, please get me out of here so I can get to the mall!)

Many of you were willing to help. (Not really, but if I put it out there others will feel guilty)

Words can not thank you enough. (But money can, thank you, thank you!)

I know many of you were skeptical, but I saw the truth and passion in many of you. (And I got the flyer for today’s Macys One Day sale)

I can’t say thank you enough. (But I’m still keeping all those state increases in teacher salaries.  I have bills to pay!  I have a date with ____ tonight and he loves when I wear….)

Those of you who contribute will be given 2 extra personal days for the 2008-2009 school year. (Cause I really don’t care if you are here to educate students.  If I can get some coin from you, it’s all good!)

Thank you very much.

Jenee and I will share how much we saved in the budget shortly. (After we sneak up to Philly for lunch!)

Thank you very much.

Dr. Tennell Brewington

Director

Could you imagine the mass mutiny this school would have if she tried pulling that crap today?  I wonder how much of these “donations” went back into the budget and not her pocket!

 

 

 

 

 

Family Foundations Parents AND Teachers, It’s Time To Tell The Truth!!!!!

Anyone even remotely associated with Family Foundations Academy needs to bear all about this school, and now would be the time to do it.  If you know of any problems there such as financial mismanagement, bullying issues, abuse, harassment, special education issues, test manipulation, anything, please be honest and let the Delaware Department of Education Charter School Office know what’s really going on there.  Children are the victims of the outright fraud and manipulation perpetrated by the Heads of School there.  In the end, it doesn’t really matter who spent more on school credit cards for personal use.  It’s not right, and anything else that has gone on there needs to be brought to the surface.  This message is also for teachers, former teachers, staff members and any board member that wants to come clean.

Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and the Delaware State Board of Education will make a decision on the charter renewal of Family Foundations Academy at the January 15th State Board of Education meeting.  They are also extending public comment until the end of the day on January 12th.

As per the charter school office website:

On December 18, pursuant to the approval of the Family Foundations Academy Board of Directors to waive the 60-day time period for a decision on its renewal application, the Secretary of Education deferred the decision to allow for necessary due diligence on potentially serious allegations of financial mismanagement.  The Secretary of Education will announce his decision at the January 15, 2015 State Board of Education meeting, to be held at 1:00 p.m. in the Townsend Building in Dover.

Under the original renewal process timeline, the deadline for public comment was Friday, December 12 and the record closed prior to the December 18 State Board of Education meeting. Since the timeline for FFA’s renewal has been extended, the DOE will also extend the timeline in which public comments may be submitted and materials may be added to the record. The new deadline for all public comment and new materials will be Monday, January 12, at 11:59 p.m.

All public comment and new materials may be submitted to the Charter School Office by email at infocso@doe.k12.de.us. Public comments may also be submitted through an online form.

 

The Full Family Foundations Academy Audit, and the State Audit isn’t even done yet!

As Kilroy and NewsWorks wrote, the full financial audit for Family Foundations Academy by Auphsite Consulting has been released by the Delaware Department of Education.  I have to say, I was suspicious of Auphsite at first.  When I viewed the initial 40 page audit, I thought it was odd.  When I heard about a 200 page audit, I assumed it was the state audit that was being done.  But then I heard it was still being worked on.  I had no idea this was also done as it was just put on the DOE website yesterday.

I seriously think criminal charges should be leveled against this Dynamic Duo.  There are a lot of low-income children in this school, but the heads of school treated funding like it was their own personal ATM machine.  And this only covers a certain period of time.  What about before that?  And sorry, I don’t believe for one second Sean Moore stopped using the p-card after this audit.  What about all those very high Comcast Spotlight charges Sean?  The ones done very recently?  I did see on your Instagram page that you had some fun courtside at a Sixers game recently.  But the big kicker: you two used a loan for Capital improvements to pay for your purchases.  You two are either the dumbest people I’ve ever met thinking you wouldn’t get caught, or the two smartest because the DOE turned a blind eye to it for years!  Was the John Legend concert in NYC a school field trip?

Auphsite recommended the following after completing the audit:

According to Kilroy there is an even bigger bomb to drop with this school.  Is that something with the attorney firm in Philadelphia they paid $300,000 to in 2014?  Or certain Mercedes Benz purchases?  Or certain purchases on a state purchase card that were bought and paid for and then sold through a Paypal account to members of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity?  Or the fact that Providence Creek Academy and Family Foundations Academy switched to the same auditor for their 2013-2014 charter school audit?  Don’t forget Chuck Taylor and Sean Moore were on the governing board at the Delaware Charter Schools Network and even though Chuck is no longer Head of School at PCA, a family member has a very vested interest in that school and Chuck is STILL President of the DCSN Governing Board.  Or is there something even bigger out there waiting to be revealed?

Lest we forget, there is also the audit by Delaware Auditor of Accounts Tom Wagner’s office.  Will that reveal even more?  An anonymous commenter wrote last week that Sean Moore was suspended from the school.  If he is out, and Dr. Brewington is on extended leave of absence, who is running the school?  And will anyone go after the Delaware DOE for allowing the heads of this school to use state credit cards for personal use?

To read more about this deeply troubled Wilmington charter school, please read NewsWorks article by Avi Wolfman Arent at http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/delaware/item/76803-audit-details-financial-impropriety-at-delaware-charter?l=df

 

Family Foundations Academy Board Meeting Tonight @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @Avi_WA @TNJ_malbright #netde #eduDE #edchat #Delaware

Now that will be one interesting meeting.  It started a minute ago.  I’m not there.  I don’t think they would want me there.  But I do hope lots and lots of parents show up and ask A LOT of questions!  Deep, probing questions.  I welcome any comments or emails about what happened at this board meeting.

Family Foundations Academy: “potentially serious allegations of financial mismanagement”

As the drums of war continue to beat against Family Foundations Academy, news surfaced at the Delaware State Board of Education meeting yesterday that a 200 page audit of the embattled school was received by the Delaware Department of Education the day before.

Patrick Heffernan, a member of the board, stated he was “very disappointed this report came in at the 11th hour”, a day before the board had to decide on their charter renewal.

While it wasn’t implicitly said, there was a general feeling there were serious questions about the audit the school had done last winter, with Auphsite Consulting Group.  I had my own questions about that report as it blindly accepted what the school said were education expenses.  Furthermore, the individuals who compiled the audit were questionable.  I searched the three members on the report, Darnell Sulaiman, Nakisha Hadi, and Terri Muhammad.  I did find information on Sulaiman and Muhammad, but Nakisha Hadi, the financial analyst and certified forensic accountant does not appear to even exist.  Anywhere.  The only places that show them as a legitimate business appear on the company’s own website at 1500 Walnut St., Ste. 700 and a Manta business listing that shows them at a separate address, which is a row-house in Philadelphia, not the Walnut Street address on the report and their website.

Another company in Philadelphia, on Market Street, is Charter School Renewal, a company run by Alan Wohlstetter, a former attorney for Fox Rothschild.  Wohlstetter appears to be the current attorney for Family Foundations Academy based on the Delaware Charter School Office documents on their own website.  Fox Rothschild had many payments sent to them in 2014 from Family Foundations Academy, totaling well over $320,000.00.  Wohlstetter recently joined the firm of Zarwin, Baum, DeVito, Kaplan, Schaer, Toddy, P.C.  In their news release for Wohlstetter’s placement in the firm, they wrote the following:

Prior to joining the firm, Alan Wohlstetter was involved in financing more than thirty charter schools, serving as a Bond Counsel or Underwriter’s Counsel for schools in Pennsylvania, California, Texas, and Colorado. Most recently, he closed a $30 million bond financing for a Philadelphia charter school and currently serves as General Counsel to three charter schools. What’s more, Alan also serves as President of Charter School Renewal, a consulting firm which helps charter schools navigate change. 

Last June, Wohlstetter wrote a document for Fox Rothschild called Common Ground In Education: Closing Pennsylvania’s Low-Performing Charter Schools.

Another attorney from Fox Rothschild, Wali Rushdan, appeared to be helping Family Foundations Academy at their September 30th board meeting by taking minutes of the meeting.  Rushdan is also a member of the very same Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity that all the members of the Family Foundations Board and Head of School Sean Moore belong to.  While this could all appear to be coincidence, it should definitely be looked into by investigators.  There are just way too many connections here folks, and there needs to be answers and explanations to all of this in a public forum.

As well, Moore served as treasurer of the Delaware Charter School Network governing board.  This advocacy group for Delaware charter schools is essentially a lobbyist firm for charters.  According to their 2012 Form 990, the organization spent $24,000.00 in lobbying costs.  If Sean Moore was treasurer for this group, and he is behind a great deal of the financial malfeasance at Family Foundations Academy, I would have to wonder if he misspent funds there as well.

I reached out to State Auditor Tom Wagner’s office this morning but no one was able to talk at this point in time and I am awaiting a return call.  As well, I called Auphsite Consulting Group which does answer as Darnell Sulaiman but I was unable to connect with anyone there as well.

To be continued I’m sure…

Breaking News: Family Foundations Academy Under Financial Investigation With State Auditor

The crisis with Family Foundations Academy continues, and it’s looking real bad for them.  Attention is focused on Head of School Sean Moore.  After allegations by a parent that he bought two Mercedes Benz with state funds, as well as several other insinuations, including a very large lawsuit of the sexual nature, and increased usage of state p-cards, the Auditor of Accounts for Delaware is investigating the finances of the school.  And it looks like the school has hired an attorney.

As revealed by Kilroy yesterday, Family Foundations Academy had a financial forensic investigation done last February by a company called Auphsite Consulting & Advisory.  The report went over the use of purchase card transactions, also known as P-card purchases.  These are essentially credit card transactions.  When these are paid by state entities, they appear on Delaware Online Checkbook under the initials PCA instead of a check number.

This isn’t the first time Sean Moore has been called out on the use of p-cards.  In 2011, a News Journal article written by Nichole Dobo detailed the high use of p-cards by administrators and school districts.  She even interviewed Sean Moore:

At Family Foundations Academy Charter School, numerous trips were paid for with the state credit card, and that bill was then paid with fundraising money, said Sean Moore, a co-director at the school. For instance, one trip was to a 76ers basketball game. A parent group at the school raised money so parents and students could attend the game. It’s not practical, for instance, to ask parents to bring “a handful of ones” to pay for Sixers tickets, he said.

The Sixers, huh?  More on that later!  The full article from the News Journal can be found here: http://archive.delawareonline.com/article/20110206/NEWS03/102060344/Delaware-schools-hidden-spending

Earlier in this school year, Noel Rodriguez, the former head of school for Academy of Dover, “resigned”.  However, several people told me it was due to misuse of the schools p-card.  While this was never made public, and Academy of Dover would not state the reason for Rodriguez’ “resignation”, their board minutes last month stated the p-cards have been taken away from the school.

Back to the independent audit questioned the high number of p-card transactions done by the two Head of School leaders, Sean Moore and Dr. Tennell Brewington.  The report found that out of the $116,309.45 in p-card purchases from July 1, 2012 to February 21, 2014, $3,908.85 was unallocated from what are deemed as valid school expenses.

The report recommended the school no longer use the WSFS bank account attached to this p-card, but the school did not heed that advice as p-card transactions continue on the State of Delaware Online Credit Card Transactions website through November 26th of this year with $38,849.41 in charges just for that month alone.  While most were valid educational expenses, some were questionable, including a Comcast Spotlight PHL charge for $8,670.00.  While Comcast charges are sure to arise in the state of Delaware due to cable costs, Family Foundations Academy was the only one to have a charge from Comcast Spotlight PHL.  In fact, out of all the Comcast charges for all of the state entities, the next highest was a little over $3900 for The Hospital For The Chronically Ill.  But to give the school the benefit of the doubt, maybe they were just really behind on their monthly bill.  I saw what looked like a regular monthly charge from the end of September.  But then in July, there were two transactions, one for $7,620 and another one for $8,670.

I checked to see what was happening at the Comcast Center in Philadelphia in July.  Nothing popped up that could warrant those kinds of charges.  But then I remembered the talk about the whole board and the two heads of school being in a fraternity.  After some extensive googling, I remembered that several members of the board belong to a fraternity called Kappa Alpha Psi.  They actually have a business called Kappa Alpha Psi Fraterity, Inc., based out of Philadelphia.  On their Google Groups page, they have an event coming up on January 5th, 2015 for a ’76ers game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.  You can even get tickets on the Google Groups website, right here, by clicking on the ’76ers game for January 5th vs. the Cavaliers: http://www.wilmingtonkappas.com/Events/

Who is running the paypal site it brings you to?  Hmm, I have to wonder.

In the report there were numerous charges that both Sean Moore and Dr. Tennell Brewington had as costs for the school.  But many of these costs seem very high.  I went over them with a few people, and they all agreed these seem to be extremely high costs for a charter school of 800 students.

Delaware Online Checkbook for Family Foundations for FY 2015:

Auphsite Holding Company: $85,081.96, 21 payments

Antonio’s Lawn Service: $14,335, 5 pmts

Baronhr Healthcare LLC: $3627, 6 pmts

Black Magic Seal Coating and Asphalt Inc. $4290, 1 pmt

Cherry Bros LLC $7194.65

County Insulation Co. $20,000.00 (company is with other schools, but this is over 3 times higher than payments from other districts)

Crestmoor Swim Club $1750.00 only other one is Del Tech Stanton Campus

Global Equipment Company Inc.: many other districts, but 2nd highest is $1-$2k, FFA is at $5+k

Groupcast LLC: $3,670, 2 pmts., MOT also has 1 pmt

Rapid Renovation and Repair $3,235, 2 pmts

Rosanne Tray Inc. $11,789.50, 2 pmts

SB and Company LLC $16,000, 3 pmts, ****Providence Creek, 1 pmt $7,500.00***

System Liquidation Inc. $14,300, 2pmts

With many parents reporting many bizarre activities going on at the school, with the 90 day suspension of co-head of school, Dr. Tennell Brewington, and conflicts of interest resulting in administrative positions and board placements, it seems as if this school falling apart.  I would love if “Dee” would comment on these articles!  It has become painfully obvious there has been no financial oversight for years, and the Delaware DOE needs to be held accountable as well.  As Kilroy reported yesterday, the Citizens Budget Oversight Committee is required to have a representative from the Delaware DOE present at each meeting, but if Family Foundations Academy hasn’t had a committee until recently, where is the disconnect?

Numerous names from the DOE are mentioned in the complaints document.  When state funds are used to pay $155,000.00 to an attorney’s office, is there anything flagged for that high of  an amount?  There are way too many questions here, and the parents definitely wants answers.

Peyton Place At Family Foundations Academy, The Satisfaction Officer @KilroysDelaware @ed_in_de @RCEAPrez @Apl_Jax @ecpaige @nannyfat @Roof_O @GovernorMarkell @DelawareBats @Rodel #netde #eduDE #Delaware #edchat

In my last Family Foundations article from today, I included the Charter School Accountability Committees October 14th minutes.  Now you get to see their response, which has the funniest sentence I have ever heard in my life, and yes, they put this in writing!  Keep in mind, all these people on the board and the two heads of school belong to this same national fraternity (which Kilroy and I aren’t done with by the way).

This document has, given the context of my earlier article, the funniest line I’ve heard in a long time!  And they put it in writing!

The Satisfaction Officer is evaluated by the Chief Operating Officer to whom she reports.  While her husband is President of FFA’s board, the Board President had no role in her hiring and she does not report to him.

Okay, we’ll just take that on faith.  Satisfaction Officer.  Let that one roll off the tongue for a while…

DE Charter School Network Connections With Family Foundations Academy Disaester

The embattled Head of School for Family Foundation Academy, Sean Moore, is also the treasurer for the Delaware Charter School Network.  On the Charter School Accountability Committee (CSAC) is Chuck Taylor, who is the President of the Governing Board of the Delaware Charter School Network.  Taylor is listed on the CSAC Voting Committee as a “community member” and “former charter school leader”.

It is obvious there could be a large conflict of interest with Taylor and Moore serving on the same board.  Taylor, in my opinion, should have recused himself from dealing with this school’s charter renewal, especially in light of the forthcoming financial improprieties that will be coming out shortly.  But the very fact Taylor is listed as “community member” and not his true role, and the fact that Kendall Massett, the executive director of the DE Charter School Network is allowed to ask questions during a charter renewal committee meeting is suspect in itself.  The DE Charter School Network is a non-profit company whose mission is to support the charter schools in their network.  But it is obvious they have way too much influence at the DOE.  If they want to act like union reps, they should call themselves that.

Things keep piling up against Family Foundations Academy, the charter school in Wilmington, DE that is up for charter renewal.  Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy will make a decision at the Delaware State Board of Education  meeting on Thursday, December 18th.

During the schools initial charter school renewal meeting on October 14th, the board and heads of school were grilled by the CSAC, and you can see where, in my opinion, Chuck Taylor crossed the line.  It’s a lengthy read, but goes into a lot of what has been already released.  But don’t think this is the end for Family Foundations, there will be more coming.

I’ve written the DOE gave Family Foundations Academy a pass while Gateway and Reach were given a trip to the guillotine, but I don’t think things are looking too good for this Animal House charter.

More Family Foundations Complaints Sent To The DE DOE Charter School Office & State Board

Special thanks to Kilroys for getting this damning information about Family Foundations out to the public (DOE should have first).  The DOE Charter School Office and State Board have been the recipient of numerous complaints in regards to this charter school.  For the past two years, it has been a litany of complaints about teachers, administration and students regarding matters of sexual harassment, bullying, discipline, use of P-cards for personal use and so much more.  It’s all in here:

Why is the public first hearing about all of this now?  Why does it take Kilroy (who is awesome by the way) to release it before the DOE takes any action?  And you renewed their charter, knowing this entire history?  And Gateway, a school for special needs children, gets stabbed in the back by the Charter School Accountability Committee over test scores while you sit there knowing all these laws are being broken over at Family Foundations?  Are you out of your damn minds?  What’s it going to take DOE, huh?  In your quest for charter domination in Delaware, you have spit on the very foundation of education itself.  I can see several people that need to be removed immediately, starting with Mark Murphy himself.

It appears several of these items were sent to other organizations within Delaware’s government structure as well, including the Governor’s office.  Matthew Albright from the News Journal, why haven’t you or your paper written about any of this?  Your paper has never received one complaint from a parent at this school?  It’s like Animal House over there.