KIPP San Antonio

CHARTER SCHOOL FUNDS, EMPLOYEE VANISH, January 14, 2010, San Antonio Express-News (TX)

Leaders of KIPP San Antonio, a branch of one of the most successful charter school programs in the country, are reeling after learning a former employee may have embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from the school district's accounts.

According to KIPP board member Michele Brown, a member of the district's financial operation's team who was working from home last Thursday stopped returning phone calls and e-mail after 12 p.m.

The next morning, one of KIPP's financial institutions contacted officials to alert them to suspicious activity on an account. The employee didn't show up to work Friday and has not been located since.

So far, officials have determined that a sum “in the low six figures” was missing. Brown declined to reveal the total amount because officials still are going through all their accounts. The employee was fired for not showing up to work.

The Police Department's white-collar crimes division is investigating, and police say the former employee, whom KIPP and SAPD declined to name, is a suspect...


Ender said...

This will probably be considered irrelevant and blocked, but in case it doesn't, why don't you make a site about good charters that are filling a need in their community. Seems like that would be better then always being negative. Beyond that a local public school had an administrator steal 50,000 from the activities budget at the school... should that school be shut down too and have everyone fired (that clearly seems to be what you think should happen to this school.)

The Perimeter Primate said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Ender, but I'll leave that for someone who loves charters to pursue. They could probably even get funding from the pro-charter forces who are willing to spend a lot of money on pro-charter propaganda. Maybe you should think of doing it yourself.

Ender said...

I don't love all charters, but know doubt I do have to love some. For example, , providing a place for kids that were abused in the public school system, yea, that would be nice if there were more like that one. Of course you probably hate the fact that there is one. Which means you are left with three outs, either the public schools serve everyone decently and I am just being silly (to quite Miss Crabapple "HA!"), you want more schools like this, or you don't care about kids the public school system don't serve well. So, which is it?

The Perimeter Primate said...

Ender: I believe the Spectrum school is a charter I directed you to in a previous exchange, as an example of something good.

You may be surprised to learn that I believe there is a place for charter schools such as Spectrum. Even anti-charter Diane Ravitch thinks there is a place for charters, if they are used as was their original intent: to provide alternative, innovative, and tailored programs to students who are at quite extreme ends of the normal spectrum. Unfortunately, the free-market, neo-liberal, corporate-types co-opted the idea as a way to destroy public education.

My opposition is to that national movement which is destroying public school districts in urban communities. The goal of these people is to replace 100% of the schools, in cities such as my own, with privately-run charter schools. And yes, it is underway.

The five-step master plan of what I'm talking about is described here:

This is what members of the resistance movement like myself are fighting against.

Ender said...

So can I ask you a question? Imagine there is a kid that the public schools can't/won't serve. Said kid has a 120 IQ, studies hours a night, and is still making straight Cs with a few Ds mixed in here and there. Said kid is being bullied into dispair, and the teachers are generally either blind and deaf (giving them the benefit of the doubt) or just ignoring it. Etc. Should he be able to choose ANY school of his choice (as in public, charter, or even private)? And who gets to decide if he needs such an environment? I am just curious what your answer will be.

The Perimeter Primate said...

Does this child have a parent? Has this child's parent sought help from pediatric psychologists? It certainly would be appropriate in a case like this.

This is an emotional story, but it doesn't mean that there isn't another side, or that other things are going on which are contributing to the problems said child is having. How do I know the child's public school is at fault for the problems this child is having?

By the way, charter schools are notorious for their avoidance of kids with special needs. What makes you think they would care about this child?

I'm tired of going around and around and around with this for now. I have other things I need to do.

I'm truly sorry things have been so miserable for you and hope one day you'll be able to move beyond the past.

Ender said...

Was mostly posting it as a hypothetical based on a kid I know but we can take it as a real kid. Yes, he sees a psycatrist regularly (not sure what relevance that has considering lack of grades with abudence of intelligence, or even the bullying thing.

As for the kids outside world. Loving mom (granted a single mom). Know very little about his dad, I get the impression he doesn't either. Huge supportive extended family. Indentical twin brother, who doesn't have quite as much difficulty (or even the same personality), which no doubt causes some problems. Some friends, not a lot, which of course is typical of kids like him (severe ADHD, mild asperger's).

As for the public schools involvement. Intelligence + a lot of studying generally = good grades, not struggling to keep a 2.0 GPA. You can blame his disablity if you wish, but since moving to private school his grades are a lot harder, sadly he doesn't come come from the wealthiest family (remember what I said about a single mom, yea) so I doubt long term private school is really an option for him.

What it must feel like to be his mom, you have 2 boys, only one of which still has significant issues and the other one of which has been held back before for his sake (he didn't have the "maturity" to go to elementary school so his mom had to hold both of them back or risk even more signigicant issues). Now you only have so much money saved up for college and you are having to spend it on private school so one of your sons might actually make it to college, basically holding both kids back again for the sake of one. I wouldn't want to be in her shoes, would you?

Beyond that, who else do you blame on in school bullying... other then... the school. Really are you going to blame the victim? I hope not. Blame the aggressor? Okay maybe, but if the agressor isn't getting punished do you really expect him to stop.

See the problem for me is this isn't all in the past... it really isn't. Yea, I graduated 5 years ago. Then before I finished my freshmen year of college I basically vowed to help kids like me. And they are all over this country. You really don't have to look far. Just the other day I read about Tyler Long, an asperger's kid who hung himself because he couldn't take his school environment anymore.

I value a kids life and education more then ANYTHING. I could care less about teachers unions. I could care less about the "public" school system. I could care less about conspiracy theories that the rich are going to kill us all (that you say on a Microsoft operated computer... oops.) And I could care less about your ego.

All education in this country should be both free and appropriate. I don't buy that the education my friend was receiving was appropriate, so now that he has found an appropriate education, the school district should have to pony up at least part of the bill. The school was spending far more on him then the average student (I can explain how that doesn't work if you wish) but how about we give him as much money as the average student and his parents can supplement the rest? That work for you, it would probably work a lot better for his mom?