Cesar Chavez Academy

Three former Pueblo charter school executives agreed to a $145,000 settlement in their legal claim against the boards who fired them last year…
The trio were fired after allegations of nepotism, widespread cheating on state tests and overcompensation of senior staff were aired.
The Colorado Department of Education in May filed a blistering audit of the school network, which was sent to the district attorney's office for review.
The Hernandezes and Rincon filed suit in district court claiming breach of contract, slander and abuse, and also filed claims with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming discrimination.
Lawrence Hernandez, who was chief executive, was given $83,212; Annette Hernandez, who was chief operating officer, was given $43,251.60; and Rincon, an executive, was given $18,536.40…
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The Pueblo City Schools Board of Education fired its toughest salvo yet against two charter schools Tuesday night, giving them 48 hours to fire their chief financial officer or possibly have their charters revoked.
The board approved a letter by a 4-0 vote — board member Dan Comden had left the meeting early — putting Cesar Chavez Academy and Dolores Huerta Preparatory High on probation for violating numerous parts of their charter contracts as spelled out in two state-ordered audits.
The toughest language in the letter, though, gave the schools 48 hours to fire Jason Guerrero, the finance manager who worked under the schools’ founders Lawrence and Annette Hernandez and prevent Guerrero from accessing any financial records at the school.
The Hernandezes were fired by the board last fall after their Cesar Chavez School Network that at one time included six schools began to crumble as some schools broke away and the high salaries the three top executives were paid became public.
Stephanie Garcia, president of the city schools board, said that the letter would be delivered this morning to the charter schools' attorneys. The schools recently hired Nick Gradisar’s firm. After they’re letter is delivered, she said, she expected that Guerrero would be gone in 48 hours “or we are going to consider serious action.” She would not say the charters would be revoked immediately, although the letter made it clear the board believed it had that power.
Asked if she thought there was a danger that Guerrero might destroy records, she said, “We’re hearing all sorts of things. We just think it’s time for Jason to move on.”
Guerrero offered to resign last year when the Hernandezes left but the boards asked him to stay on until a financial audit, which was released earlier this month, was complete.
The district’s letter also demands that he be removed with no expenditure of taxpayer funds. It also ordered the schools to discontinue any settlement talks that would use taxpayer money to pay off the Hernandezes, who are suing to get their full year’s salaries. In the 2008-09 fiscal year, Lawrence Hernandez had been paid $339,732 and his wife $210,215 with Guerrero’s pay package totalling $321,585.
The letter went on to order the schools to renegotiate charter contracts, with the possibility of a single charter for both schools, and come up with strategies to deal with making sure teachers were highly qualified, dropout rates reduced, graduation rates improved and that children were better prepared for Colorado Student Assessment Program tests.
It also asked for the names and resumes of all the Cesar Chavez board members. The DHPH board still lacks a quorum because the district board has exercised its veto power over nominees.

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