Oceanside Charter School

An appellate panel upheld an order for an Atlantic City charter school to repay a $350,000 federal grant to renovate a facility that was never built.

Oceanside Charter School was awarded four grants totaling nearly $1.9 million in 2002 to help it lease and renovate a building belonging to the Second Baptist Church across from the school on Bacharach Boulevard. But in 2004, the state Department of Education discovered that the building to be renovated with $354,765.04 of that money had not even been built, so it ordered the money returned.

An investigation also found that the school gave the money to two design contractors without publicly soliciting bids. Public bidding was a requirement of the grant program.

Additionally, the state Office of Compliance Investigation found in 2006 that the school and church never had a formal agreement.

Administrative Law Judge Joseph Martone and then-Education Commissioner Lucille Davy affirmed the decision Aug. 10, 2009, and Dec. 17, 2009, respectively. The school appealed but was denied in the panel's ruling made Friday…

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