Two Former New Orleans Charter Principals Exploited SPED Students for Money, Among Other Issues
The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) does not systematically and regularly audit its state-run schools. No entity does. In fact, the only way for an audit to happen is via whistleblowing– for some irregularity to be brought (often) first to public attention– and then the state or the Recovery School District (RSD) might step into action.
But not until fraud has already been perpetrated.
LDOE and RSD are fine with this tipster-induced means of “accountability.”
Those who drool to emulate New Orleans’ RSD ought to dry their chins and take note.
Below is the story of a New Orleans charter school, ReNew SciTech Academy, and how two principals, Tim Hearin and Alex Perez– who abruptly resigned in May 2015– cheated on tests and inflated special education funding so that their school would get more state funding, a better school grade, and impress an outside funder.
(For readers wanting more, see nola.com writer Danielle Dreilinger’s excellent account.)
On January 29, 2016, LDOE sent this 88-page report to ReNew Board Chair Brian Weimer. Here is how the report begins:
Dear Mr. Weimer,This letter represents a Notice of Breach of the Charter School Performance Compact for failure to comply with several Special Education critical indicators as outlined below and committed violations related to state testing procedures.On June 1st, 2015, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) was made aware that SciTech Academy’s Head of School and the Principal had resignedTwo Former New Orleans Charter Principals Exploited SPED Students for Money, Among Other Issues | deutsch29: