July 11, 2018 CUSD Special Board Meeting: Revocation of Oxford Preparatory Academy

Board Agenda

Board Audio

Trustee of the Capistrano Unified School District and the new Oxford Prep Board compromise to ensure educational opportunity for 800 OPA students for the 2018-19 academic school year.

The Board voted to allow CUSD and OPA have until July 25, 2018 to draft an MOU that would allow Oxford Prep to complete the 2018-19 academic year while the new Board works to meet fiscal management and oversight criteria set by CUSD.

Two Items will be brought back to the July 25, 2018 CUSD BOT meeting:

1) An MOU that would allow OPA to complete the 2018-19 academic school year while the new Board works to complete its corporate governance structure, and

2) A Revocation of OPA's Charter.

If the MOU is approved, the revocation will not be voted on.

OPA's charter is up for renewal at the end of the year. If the MOU is executed and OPA gets its fiscal house in order, they will be set to apply for their charter renewal starting in March in preparation for the 2019-20 academic school year.

This "mutually beneficial" approach will also give CUSD time to feel confident that the OPA Board can ensure fiscal solvency and transparency going forward.

A win win for everyone.

The MOU will be based on the Districts needs as stated in Column 3 of Exhibit #1 page 5- 19 of 124. 

CUSD Trustees voted 7-0 to direct staff to work with OPA to complete an MOU by the July 25, 2018 CUSD BOT meeting.

Motion to approve MOU by Trustee Gary Pritchard

Second by Trustee Judy Bullockus 

Approved 7-0

CUSDWatch Comment

Oxford Prep filed a complaint in Orange County Superior Court accusing Susan Roach; founder of Oxford Preparatory Academy, of negligence, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty after an audit raised allegations of money-laundering and diverting $4 million in funds for her personal benefit.

Oxford Prep had three schools that were managed by Yorba - Linda based non-profit Enlightened Learning Solutions:

Chino (Closed Nov 2016 as a result of the alleged illegal activity)

Mission Viejo (Capistrano Unified) - Charter is being revoked by CUSD

Lake Forest ( Saddleback Valley) - Status not confirmed

The issue to be decided is it in the best interest of these 800 children be denied access to a school that all parties have agreed is the strongest school in CUSD academically because Susan Roach diverted $4 million dollars for her personal benefit? 

Should we punish students because of the behavior of a Board that is no longer running OPA? Or does CUSD have an obligation to help OPA re-structure so that it can continue to provide academic excellence to its 800 students?

As this issue is decided, it must be discussed in the context of what the Capistrano Unified School District has to gain by taking actions to Revoke Oxford Prep's Charter.

CUSD has declining enrollment. They have a vested interest in having the 800 students return to CUSD campuses.

CUSD clearly stated that it had an interest in retrieving the $4 million from Susan Roach even if it meant closing OPA and using the reserves of the CUSD campus to retrieve the money.

CUSDs' spending priorities which place the economic interest of adults over the academic interest of students has resulted in a notable decline in the academic performance of CUSD students across all demographics. As such, CUSD has a vested interest in improving its academic performance by absorbing these high performing students.

Board Audio from the June 20, 2018 meeting regarding CUSDs' intent to revoke OPA's charter shows that the priority in making this decision was based on money and not what is in the best interest of these 800 children.

Board Meeting Agenda page 838

Public Comments started before 

Board Audio at 1:28:15 Board Discussion

Board Audio at 2:12:12 
Motion to Approve Intent to Revoke by Trustee Amy Hanacek
Second by Trustee Julie Bullockus
The motion passed 5-1-1 (Trustee Reardon Voted No- Trustee Pritchard Left the meeting prior to the Vote)
*Trustee Pritchard has a child in a Charter School