Last night, I sent an email to Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn about the ongoing problem in Delaware concerning fraud and theft of taxpayer funds in Delaware from various state agencies and organizations dependent on state funding. Today, Sonia Augusthy, the head of the Civil Rights and Public Trust division sent me an email regarding my concerns. She sent me a list of what that division has done since they were created in 2015. I was shocked at the amount of names but since I primarily write about education, it is sad to see how rampant fraud and theft is across the state. I was not away Shanna Simmens from Providence Creek Academy had been indicted and is awaiting prosecution. This is the email sent to me from Sonia Augusthy:
Providence Creek Academy
Delaware DOE’s Charter Diva Stouffer Replaces Chuck Taylor At Providence Creek AcademyProvidence Creek Academy
I knew Providence Creek Academy had no choice but to finally find a new Head of School after their “three-year search”. Chuck Taylor was never supposed to stay that long. It was, after all, just a coincidence he stayed for three years at a greatly increased salary of $170,000.00. It is also a coincidence he was able to get his pension based on that $170,000 figure because it goes by your three highest years of salaries as a state employee. But hiring Denise Stouffer? The lead from the Delaware Department of Education’s Charter School Office? Are you kidding me?
As always in Delaware education, it’s not what you know, it is WHO you know. She and Chuck were buddy-buddy on the Charter School Accountability Committee ever since she came aboard in the lead position two years ago. Denise Stouffer was ALSO who I talked to at the DOE last summer when the anonymous Providence Creek teacher and staff crowd had me post their complaints and their attempt to join the union. Nothing came of that. Hell, Denise Stouffer even told me her office did a thorough investigation and found none of their claims to be true. Imagine that! And now she is their Head of School!
I’ve talked to Stouffer a bit over the past couple years. There is something off. Something… I don’t know… call it… a trust issue. I don’t always believe her. I know, as the head of the Charter School Office at the DOE it was her job to oversee charters under the DOE’s authority. She certainly wasn’t going to give me any more ammunition than I already had. But I heard of too many folks going to her about things and then bad things happened. Usually a termination at a charter school. God forbid you go to the state agency overseeing many charter schools and actually lodge a beef against them. But that was how it was.
I still smell a stink from PCA. Something has NEVER felt right about that place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Stouffer isn’t leading the Charter School Office anymore. I’m also glad Chuck Taylor is retiring. But this kind of thing doesn’t get PCA off my radar. Not at all. The fact that NO official charges ever came out against anyone at PCA with their own charter school money theft thing. In the prosecutions that did occur, it wasn’t the school pressing charges. That came from either the feds or Delaware’s Attorney General office. Their was a whole damn audit report with tons of findings showing there was theft at PCA. So how the hell did the statute of limitations run out on that? Like I said, something smells like three-month old fish over there in Clayton.
While there is nothing in Delaware state code against a DOE employee taking a job at any Delaware school, this one seems off. I probably wouldn’t care if this were any other school. But Stouffer was the person who was supposed to conduct a proper investigation into PCA when the “We’re Worried” crew went to her and NOTHING happened from that tells me something was hushed. And she had the unmitigated gall to act offended to me based on what I wrote about her role with things at PCA knowing she used her position at DOE to leverage herself to the top position at one of the charters she had to oversee really ticks me off. This is a conflict of interest but of course nothing will happen because We Are Delaware! Before the PCA parents start hammering me with the “she got the job because she was qualified” schtick, there were many qualified over the past three years to take that job. This oh-so-convenient hiring leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. But I really shouldn’t be surprised.
Charter School Salaries Over $100,000: MOT, Newark Charter, Odyssey, Providence Creek, & Sussex AcademyMOT Charter School, Newark Charter School, Odyssey Charter School, Providence Creek Academy, Sussex Academy
These five charter schools are very distinctive in one area: they all have low populations of special education students compared to their surrounding districts. But those aren’t the only comparisons among them. Two of them have school leaders that received salary bumps over $50,000 and then resigned or are set to retire. Pension law in Delaware sets your pension based on your three highest years of salary. Intentional? You be the judge.
These five charters range from near the top of Delaware in New Castle County all the way to the heart of Sussex County with one right near the middle in Kent. All of these charters have significant student enrollment and have taken many students from their surrounding school districts. They are also in very populous, and in some cases, fast growing areas of the state.
Beloved Providence Creek Academy Teacher Mike Rice Passed Away Last NightMike Rice
The entire Providence Creek Academy went through a major shock as news trickled out that Physical Education teacher Mike Rice passed away unexpectedly last night. While official details are not being released at this point in time, it is definitely a tragedy for Rice’s family, friends, co-workers, and the students and families of PCA.
Students arriving at school (already two hours late due to icy roads) were told there was no school today. Parents were called with news that an emergency occurred at the school. Providence Creek Academy will reopen tomorrow at 10am. Counselors will be there to help students from the school and the Delaware Department of Education.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the entire Providence Creek community and Mike’s family and friends. I spoke with Mike briefly last summer and I could tell he was very passionate about teaching and cared about his students.
Rest in peace Mike Rice…
PCA released the following on their website today:
Dear PCA Family,
We regret to inform you that Michael Rice our Physical Education teacher has passed away unexpectedly, therefore school was closed today. We will resume classes tomorrow at 10:00 AM with support staff from Providence Creek Academy and the Delaware Department of Education. We will post additional information as it becomes available.
Chuck Taylor, Head of School
Melissa Rhoads, Board President
Delaware Charter King To Retire End Of This YearChuck Taylor
Providence Creek Academy has been around well over a decade. Aside from a year off, Chuck Taylor has been the Head of School at PCA. This school year will be his last according to a letter he sent to PCA parents last week. Taylor will officially retire at the end of this school year.
In 2014, Taylor returned to the school after he “resigned” the year before. When he returned, his salary increased dramatically. In Delaware, your pension is based on your three highest years of salary. Coincidence? I think not.
In any event, as far as I’ve heard, Taylor will continue to serve on the Charter School Accountability Committee at the Delaware DOE. As well, he is also President of the Board at the Delaware Charter School Network.
17 Who Made An Impact In 2017: The Providence Creek “We’re Worried” CrewProvidence Creek Academy
Last Spring, a bunch of teachers and staff at Providence Creek Academy assembled to voice concerns about working conditions at Providence Creek Academy. They had some definite beefs with the way things were run, especially with the Principal and the Head of School. Ultimately, they brought their concerns to the Charter School Office at the Delaware Department of Education. While the DOE was unable to substantiate their claims, they initiated an important question: should charter school teachers be unionized?
Over Labor Day, they contacted me indicating they had enough votes to be able to join the Delaware State Education Association. Last month, they emailed me they no longer had those votes. But I always saluted their courage and bravery in their attempt. They never contacted me individually, always as a group. To this day, I could not tell you one member of the group. They had a very legitimate fear that if they did announce their names they would have been terminated from the school. I can’t blame them one bit for feeling that way. Delaware is an at will state and without union representation, charter school teachers can be terminated for pretty much any reason. Whether it is justified or not. And speaking up about a hostile working environment can be very dangerous. I truly wish we lived in a world where any teacher could use their voice without that fear, but that is not the world we live in unfortunately.
At the very least, I hope some of those situations at Providence Creek Academy did change for the teachers and staff. Whether it is one voice or half their staff, no one should have to live with fear is as their top concern.
Ex Academy Of Dover Chief Noel Rodriguez Pleads Guilty In Theft Of $145,000Noel Rodriguez
What would you do with $145,000? Apparently, for Noel Rodriguez, it was whatever he wanted to do. But the money wasn’t his. Today, the former Principal of Academy of Dover pled guilty in the U.S. District Court in Wilmington according to Cris Barrish with WHYY.
Noel Rodriguez, 56, admitted in U.S. District Court in Wilmington that he stole in a number of ways, including charging personal expenses to four unauthorized school credit cards and a state credit card. He spent the money on electronics, travel, car expenses, gardening and camping equipment, home improvement items and a dog house.
According to the article, the newly christened U.S. Attorney, David Weiss, is in charge of Delaware when it comes to federal matters in court. Rodriguez got a $250,000 fine and will assuredly be facing jail time at his sentencing, up to ten years. What I would like to know is if part of that $250,000 fine goes back to Academy of Dover. I think it should. Taxpayers were robbed by Rodriguez, they deserve to have their tax money go back to what it was allocated for.
The article referenced the State Auditor of Accounts report, conducted by Kathleen Davies in 2014 and 2015.
“A major concern regarding the situation at the [school] is the length of time that passed without any intervention from oversight parties” the school board of directors and auditors, the Department of Education and the Charter School Accountability Committee, the report said.
It is my most fervent hope that all four of those entities know better now and this never happens again in Delaware.
Say, what about Providence Creek Academy? What is going on with their theft of school funds? Sean Moore and Tennell Brewington of Family Foundations Academy and now Rodriguez all pled guilty. What about PCA’s shenanigans? And the fact that one of the entities Davies slammed in her audit investigation just so happens to have PCA’s Head of School on it? The good old Charter School Accountability Committee. Word on the street is Chuck Taylor will be resigning soon and collecting that nice increased pension based on the past three years of service when he came back to rescue the school during the fall of 2014. Say, is that matter still under investigation?
For Rodriguez, this puts a capper on that shenanigan. As the article mentioned, Academy of Dover is still open and they actually increased their enrollment this year.
Hysterical Providence Creek Email Surfaces. Sad Part Is She Was Serious…Providence Creek Academy
You gotta keep ’em separated. -The Offspring
I received the following email today. This concerns the “solution” that Providence Creek Academy, a charter school in Clayton, DE, implemented when students weren’t getting along. Yes, let’s punish whole grades of classes because of the actions of a few. That is always a smart thing to do! Especially on the playground. Weird. Just weird…
From: Messick Joan
Sent: Tuesday, September 6, 2016 1:15 PM
Subject: Lunch/Recess – Seventh and Eight Grade Students
Good Morning Upper School Team
First, I apologize for not getting this out sooner.
On Thursday, there were several students reporting issues between the seventh and eighth grade students. The issues, in my opinion, seem to be brought on by some students intentionally starting arguments between other student and there seem to be issues about who should be where during recess time. Since seventh and eighth grade students must follow a similar schedule, there isn’t much we can do to separate them during lunch and recess. This morning I went to all special classes and stem so that I could have the opportunity to talk to all students. The conversation was pretty one sided and I asked them to listen. I did ask that if they had any questions, comments, suggestions, complaints or just want to share, they should write it down and ask that a staff member put it in my mail box.
Side bar, we did have students, a parent, staff members concerned that if we don’t try and do something to be proactive the issues would escalate and change the climate in the upper school for the worse. At this point it is fair to say that the issues are disrupting recess/lunch, disrupting the educational environment AND students are using social media to make comments that could be considered threatening in nature and there are implications that they might harm another student at school. We are going to try some things to see if we can calm the issues.
Starting today, we painted a line on the upper school playground. Please have the seventh grade on one side of the line and eighth grade on the other side of the line. We put a path on one side so that when those students are entering the building they don’t have to cross path with the other grade level. I would have one grade level go in and wait two minutes and have the other grade level go in allowing enough time for the first group to enter their classrooms. I am in the process in meeting with staff to keep them informed about what is happening and I would appreciate your feedback and suggestions since we will probably meet to discuss what is working, what is not and see if we need to make any additional changes. Recess is a privilege, not a right. Please reply to me, not “reply all”.
Seventh and Eighth Grade students can take turns using each side. I understand there is a upper school team meeting today after school, please decide as a team how you would like to rotate the grades by day or by week and please let me know. We think that day on day off would be better because some students might have basketball withdrawalJ. Honestly, I feel sad that we have to do this since SO MANY of our students love recess and are using that time to get some energy out and relax with friends….
Thank you for your consideration and help. Please keep me informed if there is anything you need and I would really appreciate it if you would send me an e-mail so that I have something that I can use as a resource with names, times and some basic information; And it will help to keep track in case I need to. I am required to report documented reports of bullying and your e-mails help me with that. More to follow….Take care.
Lastly, I have already gotten feedback from students and those that have responded think that this is a good solution.
While I salute Ms. Messick for attempting a solution, does she understand that sometimes kids will be kids? I understand schools sometimes have to think of creative solutions to problems, but what if some of these 7th and 8th graders actually enjoyed each other and had friendships? If some students are causing issues, deal with those students. With that being said, I do think it’s great 7th and 8th graders get to enjoy recess. This email is over a year old so hopefully it all got straightened out. Any PCA associated people know if this playground line is still in existence?
In other PCA news, many have reached out to me privately to find out how the We’re Worried group is doing. I have not heard a peep since their Labor Day email when they announced their intent to join DSEA (the state teacher association). All in good time!
Odyssey Charter School Is Trying To Poach Students From Districts Before September 30th CountOdyssey Charter School
The Greek-themed Delaware charter school, Odyssey, sent out a letter to parents in their area advising them they are still accepting students. As most involved in Delaware education know, schools get their funding based on the September 30th student count. Odyssey is trying to beef up those numbers to get more money.
This is a bad idea in very bad taste. The window for school choice in Delaware closes in mid-January. As in eight months ago. While charters are certainly free to accept students after those dates if they have room, actively
soliciting students after the school year has already started is lousy judgment. It is poaching, pure and simple. It is money driven, not student driven. But what many forget is that some charters tend to kick out high-risk students after September 30th. And guess what? Some keep the funding they received.
On DSEA President Mike Matthews Facebook page, he brought this up yesterday. While he didn’t name the school, State Rep. Kim Williams said she is aware of it and did notify the Delaware Dept. of Education. Will the charter-friendly DOE actually address the situation or just play along to go along?
As I’ve said before, I don’t have a problem with actual charter schools and the reason for their existence. But I do take issue with situations like this, when profit and money result in grown-ups making poor decisions. There are good charters out there but unfortunately when certain charters keep coming up in events like this it is hard to not view the charter problem as a whole. Whether it is discrimination, poor special education, cherry-picking students, or using lobbying power to get more money at the expense of districts, the Delaware tends to side with the charters. Even worse, they tend to turn a blind eye to recurring issues such as the ongoing financial cesspool that is Providence Creek Academy, the enrollment preferences at Charter School of Wilmington, or the discrimination factory we call Newark Charter School. Odyssey should not be attempting to get students from districts this far into the school year.
Will Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting put the hammer down on Odyssey or will she allow this poaching journey to continue? And what is your take on this bad education practice?
Catching Up On Delaware Education And PoliticsDelaware Education
It’s been a while. At least for me.
I haven’t been blogging as much. Like I’ve said before, sometimes you have to take a break and recharge your batteries. But it doesn’t mean things aren’t happening offline or in sidebar conversations. These are just some of the things I’ve seen and heard the past few weeks:
Providence Creek Educators Drop Labor Day E-Mail Bomb On Their Own School BoardProvidence Creek Academy
One Hundred and Twenty-Three Years ago, the United States Congress passed a law which made Labor Day a national holiday in America. Last evening, over half the Providence Creek Academy educators sent an email to their board which could not only have long-lasting ramifications for the Clayton charter school, but all Delaware charter schools.
A Note For Parents (Especially Charter School Parents)Charter School Parents
I wrote the following on the Smyrna Clayton Residents Facebook page earlier today. I dared to write a post about teacher attrition at Providence Creek Academy which led to the usual onslaught by parents whose kids either attend the school or used to. Or their HR Director who likes to answer questions with a kernel of truth but when asked about the total number of teachers who have been fired over the summer, she refuses to respond but continues to like comments on the thread. Or the guy who thinks posting memes instead of coming up with his own words lends him some type of credibility and street cred. I’ve learned, when it comes to charter schools in this state, it is easier for parents to ignore lies than to come out of their comfort zone and face the truth. It is sad. In any event, this is what I wrote:
I find it hysterical that so many are more than ready to believe things I write about the state and the Delaware DOE but refuse to accept the fact there could be corruption at the schools their child attends. I get that parents make a choice to send their child to a school their kid attends. I respect that choice. But when I shed some light on things that go on in those schools (usually charters), parents get up in arms and want to say I am off base, or I am wrong, or I have some personal grudge against the leader, or so on and so on. In the meantime, there is ZERO transparency coming from the school about the transgressions, teachers are leaving the school in droves, but as long as THEIR kid is doing okay, all is well. In the meantime, ALL of us are paying taxes for all these schools and no one seems to care that their hard-earned money is being used for personal purchases. Sorry, I will never subscribe to the belief that standardized test scores show whether a kid is getting a good education. I will never support that if any teacher questions anything they are ripe for firing. You come at me from the perspective of a parent, and I get that. But I’m looking at things from a much bigger picture. Sorry if that annoys you, but I guarantee you that if you don’t open your eyes and demand transparency now you will be left holding the bag when it comes to your kids. I am looking out for your kids believe it or not. You don’t have to like my style or approach, but I do ask that you begin to open your eyes that not everything is what it seems.
Delaware Courts Send WRONG Message With NO Jail Time For Those Who Steal School MoneyEducation Funding Theft
WDEL announced Dr. Tennell Brewington, the former co-head of school of Family Foundations Academy, pled guilty to her role in theft of education funds at the New Castle County charter school. Her whopping sentence: three years in prison but it was suspended. NO jail time. Oh, but she will have probation. Cry me a damn river! You better believe if that was you or I working in the private sector, we would be doing time! But no, not in Delaware, the first to sign the Constitution and the last to follow it. Sorry, this really pisses me off.
As if education funding isn’t jacked up enough, now our courts are saying it is okay to steal money meant for kids. But I guess we need to add new buckets on Delaware Online Checkbook. You know, things like foot massages and pedicures. Give me a friggin’ break here! I guess Audrey Erschen and Chuck Taylor from Providence Creek Academy will get lollipops for their misdeeds there. Or Noel Rodriguez from Academy of Dover will get some more Disney knick-knacks for showing a little remorse. And the guy from Indian River, Patrick Miller, can get a new boat. But we will throw kids down the river for much lesser crimes. This state is so damn corrupt it isn’t even funny.
And what the hell is up with Sean Moore? That crap isn’t even funny anymore. He is sitting back and laughing at all this. These people are getting away with whatever the hell they want. It appears it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s who you know. Whose palms are getting greased? What political favors are going around to avoid prison time for these clowns? These are kids that are going without. Our courts are saying they care more about the burden of incarcerating influential school “leaders” than sending an example that it isn’t right to steal education funds.
Some lady stole a ton of money from the Cape Henlopen boosters club for baseball or something like that. Over $20,000.00. I can see that example really working there Delaware! That happened after all the charter thieves got caught. I suspect there is a lot more of this going on. Which is why nobody wants to REALLY audit these schools. Providence Creek didn’t learn their lesson the first time. They just got better at hiding it. But like most secrets, they can’t stay buried forever. But what does it matter? The guilty will get off easy. Can’t have all those thieves filling up courtroom space while the courtroom is already filled up with the school-to-prison pipeline kids. Can’t have that!
The Hidden Secrets Behind Providence Creek Academy’s Bomb Threat & Audit InvestigationProvidence Creek Academy
It seems random events are not so random at Providence Creek Academy, the charter school in Clayton, DE. It now appears that the audit investigation into suspected fraud by a former employee was missing a lot of information. Two other employees were also taking funds meant for students for their own personal use. Head of School Charles “Chuck” Taylor covered it all up.
Teachers And Staff At Providence Creek Academy Choose The Nuclear OptionProvidence Creek Academy
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.
The Smyrna School District Zero Tolerance Pipeline Part 9: Criminal Contempt & FinaleSmyrna School District
We reach the end of our series. A new player joins the wide cast of characters with a very important role. And what is J’s final fate?
In the last chapter, J was getting pummeled by various state agencies: The Smyrna School District, The State Board of Education, The Delaware Department of Education, and The Delaware Department of Justice. For allegedly calling a girl a terrorist ten months earlier. He was up on truancy charges. The Delaware DOE rescinded the home school certificate four days after they approved one for her. Is this kid ever going to get a break?
Why Is Chuck Taylor Still The Head Of School At Providence Creek Academy?Providence Creek Academy
For well over two years, Providence Creek Academy has been searching for a new Head of School. Let me repeat that. For over two years. And guess who is on the committee to hire a new Head of School? Chuck Taylor. The not-so-interim and more like permanent Head of School. How many interviews have they had? What is the hold up? If I were a betting man, Chuck is so glued to that school he weeds out anyone who could possibly replace him. In reviewing their board minutes for the past nine months, there has not been one mention of this committee or any type of interviews for a candidate.
I’ve always been curious how a charter school leader can hold that position when they aren’t even certified to do so. We hold that standard for traditional school districts, why not a charter school? This came up with the Delaware DOE during the school’s renewal a year and a half ago but I haven’t heard squat about it since. I would have to believe more than a handful of qualified candidates knocked on their door for this job. I have a sneaky feeling there are some in the PCA community who are wondering the same thing. How they aren’t exactly enamored with Chuck in this role. That they may be questioning his ability to effectively govern the school with his qualifications. I’ve also heard, and not just recently, that he rules over the school AND the board with an iron fist. A season of discontent? You better believe it! Many feel Taylor abuses his position and he owns their Board of Directors.
When he isn’t busy with PCA, Chuck helps out with the Delaware Charter Schools Network as the President of their board. He also serves on the Charter School Accountability Committee at the Delaware Department of Education. How does a former shop teacher get so involved with charter school policy at the state level? Which will be very busy in the fall with no less than five charter school renewals on their plate.
In 2013, Chuck Taylor left Providence Creek. He “resigned”. He resurfaced in the fall of 2014 after a brief stint as interim Head of School at Campus Community School in Dover. The circumstances surrounding his sudden “resignation” are mysterious. I’m sure the reasons are tied up in some type of non-disclosure agreement. But when truly strange things started happening at the school in October of 2014 and many became worried about school safety and security, Taylor came back. It was meant to be temporary, but two years and eight months later he is still there. He guided the school through their renewal process last year but during all that one of their former employees was named in an audit investigation and alleged to have embezzled money from the school.
In April, the PCA Foundation was approved as a 501c3 non-profit. Somehow, this will allow the school to get a loan from the USDA according to their April board minutes. It also appears the Delaware Department of Finance approved the school for procurement cards with a maximum limit of $5000. Their board minutes do not specify how many p-cards the school received and which staff will receive them. The school was selected as one of two pilot schools for the changes to Delaware’s teacher evaluation system. The changes, which came from House Bill 399 last year, were not implemented at PCA and they bowed out of the new alternative pilot. They did, however, hire a non-educator to conduct their teacher evaluations at the school. This DPAS-II coordinator’s education experience consists of summer camp counselor experience. During the Spring, many parents became upset over a field trip waiver which parents felt did not adequately protect students. Quite a few spoke out in public comment during their May Board of Directors meeting.
To those who want to say “Here he goes again, bashing on charter schools”, that is NOT the case here. Aside from the ongoing Newark Charter School ruckus, I’ve probably been harder on districts than charters in the past six months. But all I will say is there is legitimate cause for concern and I’ll leave it at that. In this era of reduction in workforce notices and budget cuts, fear is a very powerful thing. I would love it if educators at PCA went on the record with whatever is going on there, but I also understand a need for staying quiet in what could very easily be seen as a hostile work environment. Delaware has fairly extensive Whistleblower laws on the books.
Other Ex FFA Leader Tennell Brewington Arrested And Charged By State of DelawareTennell Brewington
It sounds like Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn is finally clearing up the lingering messes from the charter school financial scandals. Dr. Tennell Brewington, the co-director of Family Foundations Academy, was arrested and charged on October 24th according to Jennifer Flueckiger with WMDT.
A Public Information Officer from the Delaware DOJ told 47ABC that Brewington was arrested on October 24, 2016, and charged with two counts of theft greater than $1500, two counts of unlawful use of a credit card greater than $1500, one count of unlawful use of a payment card less than $1500, and one count of official misconduct.
Yesterday, the United States Department of Justice dealt with a guilty plea from the other co-director of FFA, Sean Moore. He faces a potential prison term of thirty years. If I had to guess, Brewington’s charges from Delaware couldn’t come until she was cleared of any potential federal charges. Or perhaps they were waiting on Moore to give information when he was arrested in another state.
There is no word yet on Noel Rodriguez from Academy of Dover and Shanna Simmens from Providence Creek Academy. State audit investigations found they too stole money from schools. Justice may be slow at times, but it does happen eventually!
Which Charters are Suing Christina and the Delaware DOE?Delaware Chancery Court
Yes, a group of Delaware charters are trying to strike gold over the charter funding issue. Which charters? Newark Charter School, Las Americas ASPIRA Academy, Academia Antonia Alonso, Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security, EastSide Charter School, Family Foundations Academy, First State Montessori Academy, Freire Charter School of Wilmington, Gateway Charter School, Great Oaks, Kuumba Academy, MOT Charter School, Odyssey Charter School, Providence Creek Academy, and Thomas Edison Charter School. As well, there are a handful of parents suing on behalf of their minor children. Below are the complaints filed against Christina and the Delaware DOE. There is also a motion to expedite proceedings. I have not had time to fully read these, but I will after the ESSA Discussion Group meeting tonight. This is going to turn Delaware education on its ear!
Former Family Foundations Academy Sean Moore FINALLY Gets Fed Charges!!!!Family Foundations Academy, Sean Moore
It’s about time! After almost two years of waiting for Sean Moore to get charged with something, information comes out that he is being charged by the feds for theft. This very quick blurb in the News Journal states Moore has three federal counts against him. As most folks in Delaware know, Moore, along with his co-charter leader/co-conspirator Dr. Tennell Brewington, both formerly with Family Foundations Academy in New Castle, DE, got busted after a forensic audit showed they spent over $150,000 in school funds for personal use. They were terminated and the school could have closed if a nearby charter school didn’t essentially take them over.
I was curious why Moore was charged by the feds and not Brewington. Either they haven’t announced anything for her yet or her theft of taxpayer money for personal use didn’t involve anything with federal dollars.
Now we just have to wait for the other former charter thieves, Noel Rodriguez of Academy of Dover and Shanna Simmens of Providence Creek Academy, to get their charges. Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn hinted to me almost a year ago that “other parties” were looking at these situations. As I waited and waited, with nothing coming out, I took it upon myself to contact the FBI about this earlier in the spring. I imagine Denn’s hands were tied once the feds became involved and he obviously couldn’t say anything concrete about it. I’m glad he was on the up and up about it though.
This is the only information I could find on these charges, but it looks like the Associated Press picked up on it because the same story appears in the Washington Post and many other media outlets. There is an important lesson here: don’t steal from kids. This is what happens when you get caught! As more information on this becomes available I will certainly give updates. I can’t find the actual court filing yet, but once information becomes available, you will know!