Wednesday, April 19, 2006

More on the New School for Enterprise and Development

The troubles surrounding The New School for Enterprise and Development charter school continue to multiply. Now the Post is reporting that one of the schools trustees was paid big money at the same time the school was laying off employees, citing a budget crisis.
The audit says that the New School for Enterprise and Development paid Charles Tate, the chief executive and president, $100,000 in fiscal 2005. Board of trustees presidents usually are not paid and do not serve as administrators at the schools, an official with the D.C. Public Charter School Board said. The audit also says Tate had an agreement with trustees to receive up to $500,500 for work he did for the school before it opened in 2000.


The audit was conducted for the school by a private accounting firm. It was submitted to the board about four months late, just before the board voted to revoke the charter in early March. Charter board officials said they have not determined whether they will look into Tate's salary. But they said last night in interviews that it raised questions, particularly because the principal laid off employees citing the $100,000 shortfall.

"There's no legislation or regulation that prohibits it, but we don't encourage it," said Thomas Nida, chairman of the charter board, calling the arrangement "not commonplace."

"If somebody is being paid as staff, how objectively can they fulfill the policy role of the board?" he asked. "Whose interests are first and foremost -- the staff's or the kids'?"

Robert Cane, executive director of the charter school advocacy group Friends of Choice in Urban Schools, agreed. Told of the board's agreement to pay Tate an additional $500,500, Cane said in an interview: "I've never heard of anything like this. This would be unusual."
Unusual indeed.


Ed Researcher said...

I like the new look.

Notice that the PCSB also announced their charter applications for this year. 11 apps for a max of 10 new charters. At least one group has to be voted off Charter Island.

Nathan said...

Thanks for the tip about the charter applications. I'll have to get something up about it tonight (if I ever dig my way out this mound of paperwork on my desk).