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BESE looking into Kenilworth charter contract

3 years 6 months 6 days ago December 16, 2013 Dec 16, 2013 Monday, December 16 2013 December 16, 2013 5:51 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Rob Krieger

BATON ROUGE- Days after a Kenilworth Science and Technology school was raided by the FBI, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is speaking out about the school.

Board President Chas Roemer reiterated Monday that there is no safety concerns for the children at the school, but did have questions as to why the federal government is investigating the charter.

BESE recently granted the school a charter extension of five years because it showed improvement in grades, but Roemer wants to know if they've broken their contract with the state.

"That is where we think there may be an issue here, are there activities going on that may violate their own contract, so even though they've been renewed, if we were to find that they violated their contract, we could shut them down immediately," said Roemer.

Other BESE members weren't as happy about the renewal, including Baton Rouge representative Carolyn Hill. She has concerns with the charter's operator, Pelican Educational Foundation, and with how the board approves charter extensions.

"I voted against it, because they lump all these charter schools together and asked us to renew all the charters at one time, I felt that we needed to evaluate each charter case by case," said Hill. "Our concern was, let's monitor them closely and let's just do a three-year renewal because you know we're doing that transition into Common Core, which is more rigorous."

Roemer said the board would terminate the charter if any illegal activity is uncovered, but for now it will operate as normal.

The board plans to discuss the school at the next meeting. 

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