The revolt at Providence Creek Academy is about to blow wide open. And at the epicenter of this is Head of School, Chuck Taylor.
Tomorrow night, Providence Creek Academy is holding their July Board of Directors meeting. I have no doubt one of the biggest items of discussion in their Executive Session will be how to handle the growing and mounting concerns of nearly half of their teachers and staff. These employees of the Clayton, DE charter school are not happy. Going by an anonymous group called “We’re Worried”, I’ve been in contact with this group for a month and a half. I went so far as to contact Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting about their concerns. I did so in the bounds of confidentiality and I did not name the school or the Head of School in the conversation. Dr. Bunting stressed that if there is a hostile work environment, the Delaware DOE needs to know immediately so they can take immediate action.
When I see the words “p-card” and “misappropriation of funds”, I am usually pretty hard on charters. The reason for that is because I don’t see a great deal of action taken on it. All too often, I see excuses and “reasons”. Providence Creek Academy seems to be the exception to the rule. They found an issue, reported themselves to the auditor’s office, and took the necessary steps to ensure it would not happen again. The employee is no longer at the school and the charter has set up necessary controls to make sure one person is not able to ever abuse a p-card or school finances again. I am impressed! See the below audit report, included with the school’s charter renewal documents.
Interim Head of School Chuck Taylor, Principal Audrey Erschen, and Board President Amy Santos are to be commended for taking very fast action AND correcting the process by which this could happen. While the amounts are not shown or who the employee was, the school did do something about it. I imagine more will come out when the State Auditor’s report comes out, but this is a sea change from what I’ve been seeing with other charters. I still support House Bill 186, and believe this could stop a lot of these things from happening, but what PCA did to fix their issue should be used by ALL charter schools.