North Dade Community Charter School

Charter School Founder Charged With Theft (The Associated Press, November 12, 2004)

OPA-LOCKA, FL -- A charter school founder was arrested Friday on charges that she moved preschool children into a kindergarten class to illegally qualify for $46,000 in public funds based on the inflated enrollment.

The North Dade Community Charter School was in financial trouble in its second year when Sharon Donald moved children younger than 5, the minimum age for public school, into one of three kindergarten classrooms, investigators said.

Donald was charged with grand theft for allegedly stealing at least $20,000 in state money that was forwarded by Miami-Dade County schools based on the fudged student census. She was booked in the Miami-Dade County jail, and it was not immediately known if she had an attorney.

The children were moved the day before the annual count last year, which dictates state funding for Florida's public and charter schools, a teacher told investigators…

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