A northeast Oklahoma City charter school has mismanaged money and failed to provide adequate academic progress to students, a letter from the Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent states.
But an attorney for Marcus Garvey Leadership Charter School calls the allegations “without merit” and “discriminatory.”
Marcus Garvey officials will have a hearing with the Oklahoma City School Board, though a date has not been set.
Superintendent Karl Springer notified school Principal Kevin McPherson last month that he plans to ask the Oklahoma City School Board to terminate the charter school contract at the end of the fiscal year, which is June 30.
“The cause for termination of the charter contract is MGLCS's poor academic performance as indicated by scores on state testing,” Springer wrote.
A majority of students failed the state math tests from 2008 to 2012, Springer wrote. Reading scores for 2012 declined compared to 2011.
The situation isn't likely to improve, he wrote.
“MGLCS has not demonstrated in the last several years that it is undertaking to make improvements in student performance either by adopting new programs or changes in leadership,” Springer said.
Also cited by Springer was an incident in which school administrators misspent about $74,000 in child nutrition funding. The school has had to repay the money, according to Springer's letter.
The incident reflects “poor fiscal management.”
“Although MGLCS is in the process of repaying the funds to Oklahoma City Public Schools, the fact that the funds were improperly used is just one indicator of the school's failure to properly manage its funds,” Springer wrote. “There are other areas of fiscal mismanagement; however, this is the most obvious example of the school's inability to manage the taxpayer money that it receives.”
School plans defense
Attorney Kwame T. Mumina responded to Springer's letter with a request for a hearing with the school board.
“Please be advised that MGLCS takes great exception to the recommendation for termination of its charter and submits that the alleged basis for such recommendation is without merit,” Mumina wrote.
Mumina asked that the hearing with the school board be scheduled far in advance to give parents and the community time to attend. The allegations are serious and unfounded, Mumina wrote.
“Initially, please be advised that MGLCS submits that the reasoning and rationale advanced for this recommendation is misplaced, discriminatory and otherwise fails to comply with applicable law, rules and regulations ... ” Mumina wrote. “Accordingly, MGLCS welcomes the opportunity to defend its operations ... .”