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Fulton Science Academy MS Audit Reveals Many Problems

An audit prepared for the Fulton School System shows conflicts of interest, lack of safety procedures for students on international trips, immigration issues and poor bookkeeping.

An audit of Fulton Science Academy Middle School raised enough questions that the Fulton Superintendent of Schools is planning audits of its sister schools, Fulton Sunshine Academy and Fulton Science Academy High School.

Superintendent Robert Avossa presented the audit report to the Fulton School Board today, June 5, telling board members this summer they need to discuss how to proceed with relations with all county charter schools.

Read the entire report to the school system, and the letter of introduction from the superintendent to the school board that accompany this article.

Avossa said in his presentation and a letter to the board that the audit of the school–which remains a Fulton charter school until June 30, 2012–raises several concerns, including:

  1. Inappropriate vendor relationships, self-dealing, and conflicts of interest
  2. Concerns regarding the $19 million construction bond
  3. Lack of appropriate safety procedures for students during international field trips
  4. Poor security practices related to background criminal checks for staff
  5. Federal immigration issues related to staff
  6. Poor record and bookkeeping
  7. The lack of cooperation by FSAMS with the audit

Prior relationships with Grace Institute, which Principal Kenan Sener and Executive Director Ali Ozer had been board members, were cited as a problem. And the school's governg council's failure to advertise for bids when it again contracted with the company in Fall 2011 was another problem.

The payment of immigration services for spouses and employees of the elementary and high schools without compensation from them was another problem cited.

"How did this happen?" asked Catherine Maddox, the District 6 board member. "Over time, they've been a charter in Fulton for 10 years, and tis is really just a snapshot of the last couple of years. How did this oversight happen or not happen?"

Avossa said the primary responsibility for oversight for all charter schools lies in the governing councils at these schools.

"That's why the conflict of interest is so critical. The very people responsible for overseeing these items have been shown to be in conflict of interest time and time again in this audit," the superintendent said. While the Fulton School Board can do things to mitigate the problems, "the real accountability lies at the local governance council. That's a primary concern."

Javier Juanez June 11, 2012 at 11:21 PM
I am not sure what you mean by saying "ergenekon" but it seems you don't agree with these claims. Thanks for the clarification.
MarkMunoz June 20, 2012 at 04:08 PM
NORTH FULTON, article on historical problems at FSA: "The inaugural school year was only halfway through in 2003 when Fulton County School System officials were drawn into what was described as "serious problems" on the governing board of the FSA. According to a news article published in March 2003 in Appen Newspapers, "a serious rift has developed on the [FSA] board of directors over who is in control, essentially splitting the seven-member board into two factions with each side accusing the other of illegal activities." Parent members of the school's governing board sought to remove the principal, Selim Ozdemir, but maintained they were stymied by the founding trustees who essentially took over as the majority on the governing board. The founding board originated the charter for the school and was responsible only for running the nonprofit aspects of the school. Parent members of the governing board said the trustees were supposed to cease activities related to the management of the school once the governing board was in place. Instead, the trustees appointed themselves into control of the governing board." If this new group of parents don't feel duped they should.
MarkMunoz June 20, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Wrong, according to the North Fulton Article FSA problems go back to 2003: "The inaugural school year was only halfway through in 2003 when Fulton County School System officials were drawn into what was described as "serious problems" on the governing board of the FSA. According to a news article published in March 2003 in Appen Newspapers, "a serious rift has developed on the [FSA] board of directors over who is in control, essentially splitting the seven-member board into two factions with each side accusing the other of illegal activities." Parent members of the school's governing board sought to remove the principal, Selim Ozdemir, but maintained they were stymied by the founding trustees who essentially took over as the majority on the governing board. The founding board originated the charter for the school and was responsible only for running the nonprofit aspects of the school. Parent members of the governing board said the trustees were supposed to cease activities related to the management of the school once the governing board was in place. Instead, the trustees appointed themselves into control of the governing board."
MarkMunoz June 30, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Terry and Tom; We got your Statement regarding the audit conclusions. All I can say is "so what" you don't agree with it. Maybe you should take your paid consultation group that is known for restructuring bankrupt and defaulted businesses and file a lawsuit. You will just put more good money after bad and get further into debt. Meanwhile Wells Fargo is demanding the defaulted money. If you truly have only spent $6 million of this money and the rest is in an escrow account. Why not give Wells Fargo the $12 million remaining, and set up a payment plan for the $6 million you have spent. That is if you STILL have the $12 million. Tom have you personally seen the total left in the escrow account? Who or who(m) is in charge of this money? Show us the Money Tom!!!
A Parent October 24, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Read some facts about Gulen Charter Schools Myth: http://so-calledgulencharterschools.blogspot.com/

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