Despite hearing assurances that there are no longer fiscal mismanagement problems at Charter High School of Arts – Multimedia and Performing, better known as CHAMPS, the LA Unified school board voted unanimously today to issue a Notice of Violations, usually the first step in revoking a charter.
At issue is how the school responded to an employee misusing a school-issued credit card.
Appearing before the board to clarify the district’s action, Robert Perry, Administrative Coordinator of LA Unified’s Charter Schools Division, told the members that the CHAMPS staff should view the decision as “an opportunity to remedy, with clear documentation.”
If it’s provided by a May 2 deadline, he said, efforts to close the school could stop.
Several people from CHAMPS, including Joanne Saliba, the out-going executive director, tried to convince the board members that the episode was an anomaly and actions have been taken to make sure it would not happen again.
In September 2013, school officials discovered an employee who was hired as a fundraiser used a school-issued credit card to charge $27,000 worth of personal items. When the theft was discovered, the school’s board of directors took no disciplinary action and tried to contain the problem internally.