Ball State University has placed Imagine MASTer Academy on probation after a nearly three-month investigation into violations of state law and a lack of local control by the charter school’s board, officials announced Monday…
Ball State’s investigation was prompted by a series of stories in November by The Journal Gazette that detailed a lack of local control over the MASTer Academy and Imagine Schools on Broadway. The newspaper’s investigation found that the MASTer Academy board approved a series of measures outside public meetings that allowed the school to own and open two charter schools in Texas.
Indiana’s Public Access Counselor later determined the board violated state law by not voting in a public meeting…
•Board members were not aware or were not accurate in what the board’s role should be or how it should interact with Imagine Schools Inc., the for-profit company based in Alexandria, Va., that owns the schools.
•Several board members had not read the charter, bylaws or contract with Imagine Schools and didn’t know the length of their terms as board members.
•Several board members said they weren’t involved in the decision to share the board’s non-profit status with the Texas boards. Gabbert scolded Willis saying it was “unacceptable” for him to make the decision by himself without board members’ input and away from the public view.
•Board members were confused by the structure of the board meetings for the three schools; weren’t clear who the boards’ attorney is; and could not say whether the board had officers, with one member saying she “thought she was the secretary of the board but was not certain,” Gabbert wrote…
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WELLS ST. IMAGINE PLACED ON PROBATION; BSU CITES ISSUES FROM JG REPORT, February 2, 2010, The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, IN)