Other charters will get material from closed Lagniappe Academies

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Staffers of nine charter schools are heading to the shuttered Lagniappe Academies campus to pick-up teaching material, equipment and furniture left behind by the closed school.

The 5-year-old charter school shut its doors May 8, one month earlier than planned, and teachers are collecting their final paychecks this week.

In March, the state school board voted not to renew the school’s charter amid concerns of special education violations. The school’s board of directors is tying up loose ends now and must dispose of the school’s property before auctioning off its modular buildings June 8.

Selling what could be public property seemingly is new territory for the Recovery School District, which oversaw Lagniappe. But the RSD gave the charter school approval to do so in an April 30 letter. Presumably, that’s because they don’t want to deal with the trailers’ missing hitches and the approximately $900,000 in debt they carry.

In the meantime, KIPP, ReNEW, and Firstline schools, along with other schools from across the city will be picking up material donations at the site.

Consultant Joseph Daschbach said the material donation plan doesn’t cover all items in the school.

“So, beginning on Tuesday, other Type 5 schools that are not specifically named will be invited to come to the campus,” he said.

Teacher Thomas Mickley-Doyle, who voluntarily assumed much of the closing responsibility after the school’s three top leaders resigned, said the RSD wants to see a paper trail of all donated items.

But when the buildings are gone, and they must be removed from the leased property by the end of June, that will put the homeless nonprofit in a bit of a bind.

They need a space for auditors to perform the yearly audit required of all charter schools.

Board member Dan Henderson said they are still working on finding a space, and they just need a room for the auditors to work plus a couple filing cabinets.

Despite the plan to auction the modulars, the school may not be able to cover its debts.

“The school so far will not cover all of its indebtedness,” Henderon said. “And so, we’re working prudently to minimize any damage that might come up later on regarding costs.”

After completing the audit and other requirements the board will most likely dissolve the nonprofit.

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