Distressed charter cleans house, enlists help of EastSide Charter

With a deadline looming, Family Foundations Academy is trying hard to keep Delaware education officials from closing its doors.

Family Foundations Academy, a Delaware-based charter school, has fired both its co-leaders, overturned its entire board of directors, and turned to another charter school for management help.

Four of the school’s five new board members, including its new board president and vice-president, hold the same positions at EastSide Charter School in Wilmington. The school also announced that EastSide’s principal, Dr. Lamont Browne, would help “in overseeing the operations of Family Foundations.”

The moves came during a special board meeting Monday night, and just three days before Mark Murphy, the state’s secretary of education, rules on Family Foundations’ charter. Murphy will either renew or not renew the school’s charter at a state board of education meeting on Thursday.

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State leaders have lauded EastSide for its work with underprivileged students. In a December op-ed for The News Journal, Murphy pointed to EastSide as a model for school turnaround.

Family Foundations also announced Monday that it no longer has credit cards or state-issued purchase cards. Family Foundations has been under an extended period of review since December, when a forensic audit surfaced showing that the school’s co-leaders had charged more than $94,000 in personal expenses to a school credit card.

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