Laboratory Charter School of Communication and Languages

“Feds charge Philly charter school mogul in massive fraud.” Philadelphia Inquirer (PA), 7/24/2012
A charter school mogul was charged today in a multimillion-dollar fraud case by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Dorothy June Hairston Brown, who received accolades for students' test scores and gained notoriety for collecting large salaries and suing parents who questioned her actions, was indicted on multiple counts of wire fraud, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering.

Brown, 75, and four executives from her charter schools, were charged with defrauding three charter schools of more than $6.5 million in taxpayer funds.

U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger announced that a federal grand jury had returned a 62-count indictment against Brown and four of her trusted employees...

A former Philadelphia school district principal, Brown founded three small charter schools in Philadelphia: the Laboratory which has campuses in Northern Liberties, Overbrook and Wynnefield; Ad Prima in Overbrook; and Planet Abacus in Tacony.

In addition, in 2005 she helped create the Agora Cyber Charter School, which provides online instruction to students from across the state in their homes.

Brown served as the chief executive officer simultaneously at Laboratory and Ad Prima and as a consultant to Planet Abacus until October of 2008, according to the nonprofit tax forms the schools filed.

She stepped down from the posts after the state law was changed that July of that year to bar charter administrators from collecting multiple salaries from schools or from companies that provide services to charters schools.

Brown was paid $150,000 for working 30 hours per week at Laboratory until that October and $115,904 for a 30-hour week at Ad Prima. In addition, she was a paid consultant to Planet Abacus and Agora, which at that time was headquartered in Devon.

Despite relinquishing the administrative titles, Brown retained control of day-to-day operations of Ad Prima, Laboratory and Planet Abacus, according to sources with knowledge of the schools...


PSYD 4 KID... said...

This upcoming school year 2012 I will have a pre k students attend laboratory. I was disgusted to hear the news about Brown, considering her high standards and expectations for those around here including the children. I researched and compared laboratory's percentage of their budget spend on students compared to the state average; laboratory's percentage was below the average, and now I understand why!

"Dr." Brown, if you ever see this response you have done a great disservice to the students... tarnished the level of trust that may never be returned!
T. Mitchell,
parent Philadelphia

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