D.C. Education Board Revokes Charters for 3 Schools
Bhatti, Jabeen, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Byline: Jabeen Bhatti
The D.C. Board of Education voted yesterday to revoke the charters of three schools it oversees, citing fiscal mismanagement, poor learning conditions and unstable governance.
The six-member board agreed to revoke the charters of Richard Milburn Public Charter Alternative High School, World Public Charter School and New Vistas Preparatory Public Charter School and to freeze their assets. Board members said they would act quickly to place the schools' 450 students at other schools because the new school year starts in three weeks.
"We wanted to see certain issues addressed, and they weren't," said board member Julie Mikuta, District 1. "This process is labor-intensive, which is why this is coming so late in the summer. But we wouldn't be acting if we didn't think these children are receiving a substandard education."
The Washington Times first reported yesterday that the board was considering the action.
This is the third time the board has revoked a charter since the first charter school opened in the District in 1996. Marcus Garvey Public Charter School lost its charter in 1998. The Young Technocrats Math and Science Public Charter School had its charter revoked a year later.
Currently, there are 33 charters, 17 of which are overseen by the Board of Education and 16 that were chartered by the D.C. Public Charter School Board.
Board members called the decision to revoke the charters painful but said that after seeing a lack of improvement over two years, they felt they had little choice.
The schools have 15 days to request a hearing on the decision. The board then has 30 days to conduct a hearing and then take a final vote on revocation. Afterward, the schools can appeal through the courts.
The school board also is scrutinizing two other schools, Techworld Public Charter School and Ideal Academy Public Charter School, for fiscal mismanagement.
Techworld remains on probation pending an audit of its operations after its charter was almost revoked in February. The board voted yesterday to deny payment on two contracts issued by Techworld and Ideal Academy over $25,000 that failed to get board authorization, as required.
School officials on Monday terminated the contract of charter school monitor Shelvie McCoy pending an investigation into charges of financial improprieties and conflict of interest, school officials said. Her husband, Samuel McCoy, worked for Richard Milburn until this summer and is currently vice principal at Techworld, a school Mrs. McCoy monitored.
The McCoys declined comment. …