The Connecticut State Board of Education held a special meeting on Wednesday, where it voted to consider revoking the charter of Path Academy.
This comes after discrepancies in student records and enrollment, operating unauthorized satellite schools, and an implementation of unauthorized school policies, according to the state.
On Wednesday, the state's Board of Education voted to begin the process to consider revoking the academy's charter.
According to the state, in 2013, Path Academy applied for a charter to operate a school in Windham and was granted the charter on June 5, 2013.
The state received information that Path Academy was operating an unauthorized satellite school in Norwich and started an investigation in December 2017.
On January 8, 2018, Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell told Path Academy to stop operations at the Norwich school. Path Academy was placed on a probation of up to one year.
“First and foremost, it is our professional and moral obligation to ensure that students’ are safe and that their academic needs are being met,” said Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell. “As a result of the Department’s audit and investigation to date, we are concerned that Path Academy has not been and is currently not in a position to support their students’ success. Revocation of a charter is a process that we take very seriously and is only considered after a careful deliberation. Should the SBE decide to initiate the revocation process, we are committed to ensuring that our focus remains on doing what is in the best interest of students.”
As a result of the investigation, the SBE found that Path Academy was operating two satellite locations, in Hartford and Norwich, not authorized by its charter.
The academy failed to maintain records of students that were enrolled in the data that is used to determine grant payment. Path Academy was also unable to provide records for students that reported as enrolled and were attending the school.
SBE said it also appears that Path Academy was providing unauthorized part-time education to some students, while they received the full per-pupil grant payment for these students.
These reasons do not reflect final findings or conclusions by the state, but provide a basis for whether or not the SBE will revoke Path Academy’s charter.
"From the moment Path Academy opened in Windham in 2014, we have been committed to providing a viable alternative path to a high school degree to the overaged and under-credited student population we have served; these students and their future remain our top priority. We have always considered ourselves to be partners with the state at Path Academy and want that partnership to continue so we can remain a strong option for our students. Today's recommendation by the state that our school be closed is disappointing to us and we plan to vigorously contest it as we continue to be champions for the needs of our student population," said George Hernandez, chairman of the Windham Charter School Corporation Board of Directors, Path Academy.
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