At the May 2016 Board of Directors meeting for Academia Antonia Alonso, there is a reference to a shooting threat at Kuumba Academy. Their meeting was on May 23rd. But from Kuumba Academy, there is complete silence on the issue. Why am I reading about this on another charter school’s board minutes? Maybe because Kuumba has not posted any board minutes since early May. In researching this situation, the News Journal did cover this threat on May 18th.
A text message sent to parents Tuesday said there was a threat of a potential shooting at the building posted on social media.
In the 2015-2016 school year, there were three charter schools in the Community Education Building in downtown Wilmington: Academia Antonia Alonso, Kuumba Academy, and Great Oaks. Why did the News Journal only mention Kuumba Academy in the article when three schools occupy the building? But an even bigger question is this: was texting the only form of communication given to parents? What if a parent doesn’t have a cell phone? I know, the odds of that are somewhat slim these days, but it is a very real possibility.
I’m sure this is old news to many, especially in Wilmington, but I saw nothing on Kuumba Academy’s website addressing this. As I mentioned, their board minutes haven’t been updated since May. They are in violation of Delaware law. They haven’t put their financial audit up since 2014. They are in violation of Delaware law. They have not put their monthly financial information up since June. They are in violation of Delaware law. They are required, as a 501c3 non-profit corporation, to put their IRS Form 990 on their website. No 990s exist on their website. They are in violation of Delaware law. I can go on Guidestar.org and see those 990s, but that isn’t the legal requirement in Delaware. While their Citizens Budget Oversight Committee has met regularly and minutes are posted for that, within the minutes there are questions from the Delaware Department of Education’s required member (also required by Delaware law for every single charter school CBOC), but the answer wasn’t submitted in the minutes.
I do not understand why Delaware charter schools are not required to follow the law. The law may say it, but if no one enforces it, what is the point? Charters in Delaware are now required, as of today, to record all board meetings and post them on their website within seven business days. Two charter schools, Early College High School and Academy of Dover, had board meetings tonight. I fully expect to see their audio recordings up by September 6th. But for Kuumba Academy, they are missing a lot of the requirements in Delaware code. I plan on going through all the charter school websites tonight to see who is in compliance and who is not.
In terms of the Community Education Building, I can understand why Academia Antonia Alonso left the building. They begin their 2016-2017 at Barley Mill Plaza.