Phil Berger Jr's Norcross' Phoenix Academy "management contract" request and conflict of interest

"The Charter Schools Act, in G.S.115C-238.29D(d), states that "a material revision of the provisions of a charter application shall be made only upon the approval of the State Board of Education."

...Phoenix Academy is seeking to partner with a brand-new charter management entity.

...Phoenix Academy is seeking to enter into a management contract with the 7 Degrees of Change Foundation.

Senior Management Team
Kimberly K. Norcross, M.A.Ed.
Chief Education Officer
Co-Founder of Phoemix Academy

This request does not transfer the charter to this separate foundation; however, 7 Degrees would manage all day-to-day operational aspects of the charter school.

The Department of Public Instruction, in reviewing the documentation, has several concerns related to this proposed partnership. They are briefly summarized below:

1. Advantage to Phoenix Academy is unclear. The proposed management entity -- 7 Degrees of Change Foundation -- was formerly known as the Gail Norcross Trigueiro Foundation, created in 2010. The proposed management entity (7 Degrees of Change Foundation) has no direct experience in managing charter schools or offering direct educational services to students. ...According to 990 forms from the IRS, the Foundation’s annual gross receipts (for 2010 and 2011) are less than $50,000, which is significantly less than what it would receive from Phoenix Academy for its management services. These past experiences in education and finance do not show how “7 Degrees is particularly well-suited to managing” Phoenix Academy as it plans to expand facilities and student population (ADM projected to increase by 500% in the upcoming years) while creating a multi-program high school. It has not been definitively stated how the 7 Degrees of Change Foundation has the “access and reach” that Phoenix Academy needs to make these changes.
2. ...of concern is that this proposed model was created with a potential conflict of interest in place. The February 2013 minutes reveal that a current, sitting board member of Phoenix Academy pressed for the partnership with the Foundation of which he was chair.  As of April 2013, that individual resigned from the board of Phoenix Academy."


No comments: