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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Controversial Academia Semillas del Pueblo Charter High School loses Revocation Appeal Hearing

The Controversial Educational Collective founded by Mr. and Mrs. Mark(os) Aguilar, loses its Los Angeles County Board of Education Appeal Hearing, despite support via former LA Mayor Antonio Villar Legal Counsel, turned, Board Member Thomas Saenz and allies.
From the halls of the LAUSD School Board Chambers ( not Montezuma's) to ...
.... the floor of the Los Angeles County Board of Education, the look of Charter Revocation and dejection are the same. ( ** But the County Board of Ed must have a professional dress code).
The "Ethical Horns of Fiscal and Educational Accountability" are blowing in from the "Four Directions of Governmental Oversight", on the Controversial Academia Semillas del Pueblo Charter School, but its Founder/ Executive Director/ Ex Officio Board Member Mark(os) Aguilar, still has friends within the educational establishment.
"Tata Mark(os)" and his followers staged two days of protests, leading up to yesterday's Los Angeles County Board of Education Appeal Hearing on the Academia's High School Campus Charter Revocation, recently approved by LAUSD in a 6-1 vote ( with Board Member Monica "Gorda Boo Boo" Garcia the lone vote against). 
As Public Radio Station KPCC reports, unlike LAUSD, Academia had more support from County Board of Education Members, but the 3-3 deadlock vote after hours of discussion, was "Strike Two" in the Educational Collective's quest to keep its High School Campus open, with a looming "Strike Three" coming from the State Board of Education. 
Yet, Saenz and his board allies fought hard, but at the same time, spotlighted some inconvient fiscal truths pertaining to the questionable finances at the lucrative educational collective. An excerpt ......
During Tuesday's meeting, board member Thomas Saenz questioned whether the school was held up to extraordinary scrutiny when LACOE staff pulled its federal 990 tax form or considered media reports. Staffers conceded that this was not an ordinary part of the process to which they had subjected other schools.
Board member Douglas Boyd said the major problem with the school's appeal was its inability to provide requested information - echoing a complaint by L.A. Unified officials who criticized the school for refusing to provide school officials' social security numbers for routine background checks.
“The problem is there is very little or no transparency outside the school," Boyd said.
From Academia's 2011 IRS 990 Returns ** Note that Mark(os) list himself as a "board officer" while drawing a salary. A major non-profit no no.

.......... maybe the former Academia Ally Mayor Villar and current MALDEF Legal Counsel did not want to disclosed the six-figures salaries of Mr. and Mrs. Mark(os) Aguilar? Then there was this from Saenz Board Ally Jose Calderon as excerpted below.
Another board member, Jose Calderon, rebutted the superintendent's criticisms of the school. He pointed out that while the school had a $650,000 deficit at the close of the school year, it secured a grant to cover it.

........... maybe Board Member Calderon would care to note where the loan (from self?) originated from as KPCC noted in a previous story which we excerpt below.
As for the deficit, Aguilar said the school received a grant from the Tzicatl Community Development Corporation for $650,000 that will eliminate the funding gap.
Parents and supporters of the school believe L.A. Unified's decision is not so much about its fiscal deficit or test scores, but about the fact that the school has stood up to the district.
Most recently, it refused to provide it's board members' social security numbers on paperwork that can be accessed by the public.
Aguilar cited federal laws that protect privacy, and added that if President Barack Obama doesn’t have to put his Social Security number on publicly accessible documents, neither should the school’s leaders.

Hmmm, not normally a betting man, I would be willing to bet in dominations of "Aztec Twenties", that the names on the Academia School and the Tzicatl Community Development Corporation's respective IRS 990 Forms, rhyme with each other ( ** See respective IRS 990 Page 1s after the jump). Thus, that would blow the horn on a fiscal shell game that transcends cultures, on the way to a court of law ...... and beyond to an enclosed, barred collective.

Your thoughts ..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14

Academia IRS 990 Page 1
 Tzicatl IRS 990, Page 1

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