RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The State Board of Education will decide on the fate of a Wake County charter school at it’s Thursday meeting.
The SBE’s agenda said earlier this month, its Charter School Advisory Board found evidence Torchlight Academy violated the Charter Agreement related to the administration of the Torchlight Exceptional Children program- a program focused on students with disabilities or impairments. An October EC Monitoring Report claimed Torchlight Academy was in fiscal and programmatic noncompliance. The report said extensive technical assistance had been provided but “noncompliance remains systemic”.
SBE’s agenda also said there “are significant concerns with the supervision and provision of services to students with disabilities and the local capacity to resolve the findings of noncompliance.”
Earlier this month, it was recommended to SBE that Torchlight Academy be placed on Level 2 Governance Probationary Status. It would give the school 30 days to make corrections
The board listed the following reasons:
- Grossly negligent administrative oversight of the EC program;
- Failure to properly implement the Individualized Education Program process as mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act;
- Alteration and falsification of EC student records;
- Lack of federally mandated “Maintenance of Effort” for the previous three (3) consecutive years;
- Inability and/or failure to provide access by NCDPI EC staff to EC student and finance records when requested;
- Lack of qualified staff in the EC program;
- Falsely reporting staff’s compliance with Every Child Accountability and Tracking System (ECATS) training; and
- Failure to provide all documentation requested by DPI’s EC Division.
In a letter responding to the claims, Torchlight Academy said a 30-day probation period to complete the corrective action is impractical, insufficient, and inconsistent with the tenets of IDEA, which has the primary objective of providing services to EC students and support to their parents.”