Just got this press release regarding a lawsuit filed against Akron-based White Hat Management by several of the Hope Academy and Life Skills charter schools under its management in Akron and Cleveland. Read the filing here. The press release is here.
"Charter schools were created to free children trapped in failing public schools and give parents a desperately needed educational option," said April Hart, legal counsel for the schools. "The Governing Boards of Hope Academies and Life Skills are community members who seek to ensure that state and federal dollars directly benefit the students. White Hat Management is a for profit company. Its interest in making a profit often conflicts with the schools' goal to educate and show student progress. There are no real rules in place to make White Hat fully account for the non-profit dollars they receive to manage Ohio charters. It's the big elephant in the room that seems to slip by the legislature every year."To read more or comment...
The Akron school board may decide to lay off teachers and other staff in a special meeting tonight.
Superintendent David James will discuss the district's finances and staffing recommendations privately with the board when the meeting starts at 5:30 p.m., but the board will discuss the matter publicly and possibly vote on layoffs.
"The board will go into executive session first and come out after that, have a discussion and may take some action," James said on Monday morning. "Once they come out, there probably will be a presentation to them in open session."
The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for next Monday, May 24, but that would be too late to meet notification requirements in the teachers' union contract.
"If there are going to be any staff reductions, there are some deadlines," James said. "For instance, the teachers, they have to know about any openings or reductions by Thursday."
Layoffs typically are done by seniority. A recent report from the National Council for Teacher Quality summarized the issues surrounding layoff by seniority. The report was favorably reviewed by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice.To read more or comment...
I was on the phone with Northwest superintendent Bill Stetler when Stark County Elections Board reached 100 percent. (Midnight update: Stark, it turns out is just over 50 percent counted, but Northwest is passing comfortably). I heard the roar of cheers at the Salt Box Ministry building in Canal Fulton. Northwest passed a 1 percent earned income tax after losing the last 10 tries at the ballot by waging an unprecedented community campaign. I'm sure other districts will want to know how they did it. So do we. More to come.
2 a.m. update: my apologies to Highland. In some of our newspapers tomorrow we'll have the wrong result. Highland narrowly lost. We were under tight deadlines tonight and I thought Medina had counted 100 percent, but that was only for electronic ballots. There's always some paper ballots that get counted after the electronic ones and apparently those were enough to switch a close election against Highland. So we'll be making corrections tomorrow.To read more or comment...