Teacher firing plan underway at Options Public Charter School in wake of alleged fund diversion

7:09 PM, Nov 6, 2013   |    comments
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JC Hayward photo from Options Public Charter School annual report

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - An audit made public Tuesday unveiled a plan underway to terminate an undisclosed number of teachers and staff at Options Public Charter School.

The number of teachers the school plans to fire was redacted as were complete sections of the court-appointed receiver report filed in District of Columbia Superior Court.

Options PCS currently faces a budget shortfall of an estimated $1.8 million, according to the report.

The process of "right-sizing" the number of teachers and staff started November 1, according to the report's author and court-appointed receiver, Joshua M. Kern.

The report states, Kern and the school administration are in talks to offer incentives to the "high-performing" teachers whom they want to keep at the school through the current school year, "and possibly beyond."

The heavily redacted document states about $1 million of the $1.8 million budget shortfall can be attributed to payments made through contracts with a private company that is the subject of a high profile lawsuit.

The DC Attorney General says Options executives diverted school funds to Exceptional Education Management Corporation, also called EEMC, after they founded the company themselves.

Kern has asked the District's Public Charter School Board not to make any decisions regarding the school's charter - including whether it will be revoked - until a December meeting.

He sent a letter assuring parents that it is his intent that the school remain open through the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

Former WUSA9 Anchor JC Hayward served as chair of the school's board.

DC's Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Hayward and three former managers at the school alleging more than $3 million dollars in District public school funds were diverted to fund private companies, including EEMC, in which they had interests.

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