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OKC charter school under investigation

by Tim Willert Modified: October 10, 2013 at 10:00 am •  Published: October 9, 2013

“I was surprised. I hadn't seen anything like that before,” Flemon said. “The children said it was the second time it had happened.”

The next day, a teacher and restaurant patron told Flemon that Washington had been let go as principal, he said.

In January, board members denied the charter school's first application at the request of a school district committee that evaluated the applicant's budget, programs, services and other details.

In April, the board, which included three new members, voted to approve the charter school's application following an impassioned plea from Springer, who retired Aug. 30. Springer could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Oklahoma City Public Schools is the largest district in the state with 45,000 students attending 84 schools, including 12 charters.

Charter schools, an alternative to public schools, receive funding from the district but do not follow the same rules and regulations as public schools.

One of those schools, Marcus Garvey Leadership Academy, was closed when the Oklahoma City School Board voted not to renew its contract.

The panel reported the Harper Academy investigation Monday night after meeting in private. It could decide the same fate for this school, whose contract will be terminated in June unless the school board voted to renew it.

“In the case of Harper, we want to make sure that protocols are met,” said Dave Lopez, the school district's interim superintendent. “We think it's important to get all the facts.”

by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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