District Silent As Charter School Dodges Audit
Hillel Aron | April 17, 2013
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Fresh off a controversial April 2012 renewal, the El Sereno charter school called Academia Semillas has refused to comply with an LAUSD audit, according to this December 2012 report by the Office of the Inspector General.
“Repeated attempts to obtain this information from the school were unsuccessful and the school chose to communicate to the OIG exclusively through its legal counsel,” states the report, which was ordered specifically for the school by the LAUSD charter school division.
“Schools need to comply with audits,” said Jenkins. “Charter schools are public schools and should be transparent.”
The new report showing Semillas’ non-compliance with the audit was released in December 2012. It cites a “Lack of cooperation from the management of Academia Semillas Charter School in any form or manner during the planning phase of this audit.”
Since then, no actions have since been taken against the school, and the story has not been reported by local media.
Gloria Romero, the director of California Democrats for Education Reform*, has been outspoken in her belief Semillas should be held accountable.
“Are they telling us that one rogue charter school operator can give the finger to the largest school district in California?” said Romero. “It’s unheard of.”
She added: “Independent audits exist for a reason. We should all be alarmed if one charter operator refuses to answer you.”
Said Sierra Jenkins of the CCSA: “It’s weird that the district won’t talk about it.”
LA School Report attempted to contact school officials; however, the school’s listed phone numbers are no longer in service and Executive Director Marcos Aguilar’s cell phone’s voice mail has apparently not been set up.
*A previous version of this post implied that the CCSA has taken an official position on Academia Semillas. It has not. Jenkins was speaking generally about charter schools. This post also previously referred to Democrats for Education Reform as Democrats for School Reform.