Charter Schools

Choice Foundation cancels board meeting after failing to provide public notice

Choice Foundation charter network has cancelled today’s board meeting after The Lens pointed out that the board failed to provide proper legal notice.

It’s not the first time the network has had issues following public meeting law. In fact, Choice re-elected its entire board at a 2013 meeting it failed to publicly announce.

Board vice-chair Robbie Evans acknowledged the lack of a publicly posted agenda via email Wednesday and said it was an “inadvertent oversight.”

“As a result of this, we have canceled the meeting,” Evans wrote.

The Lens has repeatedly requested to be notified of meetings, as public law allows, and only in recent months has the network begun complying.

State law is very clear when it comes to providing written notices for public meetings. Although Choice had a notice of the meeting on its McDonogh campus doors it did not include an agenda, which is part of the legal requirement.

On Wednesday morning, The Lens did not find an agenda posted at either Esperanza Charter School, the meeting site, or at the foundation’s listed headquarters at its McDonogh No. 42 campus.

The agenda also was not available on Choice’s website, which state law now requires.

Only after requesting the agenda did the Lens get one via email less than 24 hours before the meeting. The law requires notices to be posted 24 hours in advance.

If a board meets in violation of the open-meetings law, any actions taken at the meeting can be voided by a court, if someone chooses to challenge it. A lawsuit must be filed within 60 days of the meeting.

CEO Mickey Landry also acknowledged the lack of an agenda.

“We really didn’t have any business to vote on because it’s stuff we can put off until June.”

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