The news for Montgomery’s LEAD Academy charter school has become a broken record. One bad news story after another.
This time The Montgomery Advertiser published a story on Jan. 28 that LEAD’s education guru, Soner Tarim of Houston, is no longer involved with the school. Of course, LEAD board chair Charlotte Meadows, told the reporter that, “It’s not totally clear what’s going on but they have decided to pull their operations from LEAD Academy almost two months ago.”
So you get a divorce and don’t know why? Sure, happens all the time.
My best guess it had something to do with the $30,000 LEAD was supposed to pay Tarim’s Unity School Services each month.
LEAD made headlines shortly after opening last August when they terminated their principal Nichole Ivey-Price. The principal sued claiming fraud and breach of contract.
Her first court date was Nov. 21. She prevailed and LEAD had to put her back on the payroll. For a closer look at what was involved in this legal action, go here.
What really caught my eye is that Ivey-Price said that when the Montgomery Area Association of Realtors gave LEAD $200,000 for startup funding last summer, Meadows only put $100,000 in the school account and put the other $100,000 in a separate account.
But then, transparency does not seem to be something that concerns this school. For instance, all school systems are supposed to post financial info on-line every month. Since charter schools are considered a stand-alone Local Education Agency, this requirement includes them. Info should include check registers. Here is the LEAD website. If financial information is posted, I can not find it.
However, you will find a listing, along with photos, of employees of the school. There are 25 in all. But a former teacher, who left last fall, told me that at least 11 of these people are no longer with the school. (She is still shown to be working at LEAD.)
The charter commission meets on Monday, Feb. 3. They are supposed to get an update from LEAD. Stay tuned..