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…
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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Dolores Huerta Preparatory High
This school is part of the Cesar Chavez School Network. Read about other scandals involving this network HERE.
CHAVEZ SCHOOLS ORDERED TO FIRE FINANCE OFFICER; May 19, 2010; The Pueblo Chieftan (CO)