At the top of the list of unlicensed teachers we found the name of the guy in charge, school principal Dr. Samuel Yigzaw. He told us he had been just too busy to get his teaching license this year, but is planning to do it for next school year. Dr. Yigzaw did admit that he knew of one unlicensed teacher on his staff of 34 faculty members, other than himself. When I asked him about the other two teachers we found, he said one fo [sic] them really wasn't a teacher, even though the school had her listed as such. Dr. Yigzaw told us she really was a paraprofessional who assisted teachers, but did not actually teach a class. The last teacher on our list was unfamiliar, at first, to Dr. Yigzaw. Then, he told us he remembered she was a regular substitute in his classroom. But, state records indicate that teacher is also unlicensed.
The Minnesota Department of Education reviewed our information and told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that it would start an investigation into the school's compliance beginning Wednesday morning.
Higher Ground Academy
CHARTER SCHOOL GETS MILLIONS IN TAX MONEY WITH UNLICENSED TEACHERS; March 30, 2011; KSTP-TV news broadcast (St. Paul, MN)