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Treme charter group terminates 45 employees; all employees to leave by August

At its May meeting, the board that now runs McDonogh 42 Elementary Charter School ratified the termination of 45 of the closing charter’s employees, voting to extend employment through the summer months for only eight employees.

The charter operator that oversees the school, the Treme Charter School Association, did not have its charter renewed for the 2012-2013 school year. McDonogh will be taken over by the Choice Foundation, which now runs Lafayette Academy and Esperanza Charter School, in July. The outgoing group must eventually terminate its entire faculty and staff, but has elected to eliminate 10 and 11 month contracted employees – namely faculty – first, and eliminate all staff positions by August.

At least two teachers will be paid on the next regular payroll date, board members said after coming out of a closed executive session. Board members didn’t announce any other teacher-related payroll information.

Officials detailed staff changes at the meeting. Six staffers – the assistant principal, the business manager, two secretaries, the head custodian, and the assistant custodian – will be paid their regular rate until June 29. After that date, the business manager and the business office secretary will join the school’s chief executive officer, Cynthia Williams, in closing out business in July and August. All other staffers will be terminated. The board will pay the CEO and business staff from a budget that won’t exceed $39,000.

The board’s finance committee, which first authored the changes, cited a need for staff to continue through the summer to oversee summer programs, payroll tasks, grant reimbursements and other financial matters.

In addition to these changes, the board also approved the finance committee’s recommendation to buy up to $64,000 in employee health coverage for June, July and August.

The board then entered executive session to discuss personnel and legal matters.

After the half-hour closed session, a motion was carried to pay “teacher 12F” and “teacher 12G” on the next regular payroll date.  The motion also called for the board to send information regarding “employee 12H” to the district attorney’s office. Additionally the motion charged CEO Cynthia Williams with calling the school’s insurance company regarding an attorney bill in “Case 2011-09047”.

In other board meeting business, Art Teacher Aleta Richards was selected as teacher-of-the-year by the school, and school officials announced that Smith, Williams and possibly others will attend the National Charter Schools Conference in Minneapolis, MN in mid-June.

Members Roslyn Smith, Madonna Greene and Hester Cottles were present at the time posted on the agenda, 3 p.m.  Tracie Washington arrived at 3:27 p.m. and Bherita Hall arrived at 3:36 p.m., at which time Smith called the meeting to order with a quorum.

The board approved minutes from the March 12 and March 22 meetings, but the board held off on a vote of the May 1 minutes.

The board has listed June 23 as its next meeting date but Smith said that date’s likely to change.

 

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