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Charter School Closes Allegedly Citing No Funds Among Misgivings of Financial Misdeeds

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Dallas, TXLynacre Academy was a charter school established in the South side of Dallas, Texas for poor and disadvantaged students. The school is allegedly closing due to lack of funds. This is among misgivings that funds the school had were misappropriated. The fingers keep allegedly pointing back and forth between former superintendent, Delores Beall and the school board. The alleged amount in questions is $750,000 granted by the state for funding the charter school. The school closed its doors on February 1, 2008 due to the alleged lack of funds.

The school board and former accountant are alleging that Ms. Beall misappropriated funds from 1999 to 2006. Amongst their allegations they are purporting that she eliminated financial records during the same time frame. To this point, Ms. Beall has allegedly been unavailable for comment regarding the situation. No criminal charges have been filed by the board against the former superintendent. The board is also alleging that Ms. Beall asked for assistance from a janitor in confiscating alleged incriminating school records. In addition, the board is allegedly accusing Ms. Beall of receiving money back for a deposit that was placed down for the school's water account. They are alleging that she used the school's money to buy personal real estate for herself with the funds. Ms. Beall is allegedly pointing the finger back at the school board. She is allegedly blaming them for wrongful termination of herself as an employee and poor management of the school.

The school originally opened up for classes in 1999. Approximately seventy three students have been displaced due to the school closing. Auditors for the state of Texas have been aware for nearly two years that $750,000 was unaccounted for at Lynacre Academy. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) oversees the operation of charter schools throughout the state. The TEA has allegedly said that there is a larger propensity for errors in record keeping in funds for charter schools. This is allegedly due to the lack of bookkeeping knowledge most administrators running charter schools have due to how new these types of schools are.

The state yields authority to the TEA to decide whether or not to renew charter school contracts or to revoke or simply decide to not renew their contracts. The TEA's reasoning can be for either alleged financial misdeeds or poor academic performance of the schools. Currently, the TEA is continuing its investigation into the alleged situation. They have not acted to either revoke or not renew the charter school's contract. The TEA allegedly works with all charters schools to try to maintain them as viable institutions for students. Charter schools are around for the purpose of helping disadvantaged students. The TEA allegedly believes that they would rather work closely with schools to resolve matters if possible for this reason.

Other alleged financial dealings that are coming into question involve exorbitant fees being charged unlawfully to students. Students at Lynacre Academy were allegedly being billed for graduation fees and days absent. These types of fees are considered unlawful. Also, allegedly there were discrepancies found in attendance records at the school as well.

By: Delsia Hartford

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