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State education board demands $11.2 million back from Epic Charter Schools over state audit findings | Education

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Holt began her presentation by setting the record straight on two issues she said have been commonly mischaracterized in public discourse since the release of the state audit report a couple of weeks ago.

She said Gov. Kevin Stitt’s charge to State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd included the task of reviewing annual audits on Epic from the previous three years, but it did not limit the scope of the forensic audit as a whole to any such time period.

In all, $125.2 million of the $458 million allocated to Epic Charter Schools for educating students the past six years was found to have ended up in the coffers of Epic Youth Services, a for-profit charter school management company that has reportedly made millionaires of school co-founders Ben Harris and David Chaney.

“We ask for annual appropriations totaling approximately $3 billion and $125 million works out to about 4.1%,” said state board member Kurt Bollenbach, of Kingfisher. “Are you saying I do not have access to or oversight of 4.1% of the funds that come through this department?“

Holt responded: “Yes.”

Holt described how Epic and its affiliates armed themselves with lawyers to make the state auditors’ task of interviewing school personnel and scrutinizing records particularly difficult.

So difficult in fact that 63% of the funds turned over to EYS — nearly $80 million budgeted for students’ learning needs — remains out of reach of the State Auditor’s Office and outside public scrutiny.

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East Windsor Board of Education Profile: Jagruti Patel

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EAST WINDSOR — A resident of East Windsor, Jagruti Patel is running for a seat on the school Board. She says that the current pandemic has posed a number of challenged for the school community, and as a Board member she plans to tackle the biggest one of them all first – training and equipping teachers to better handle the virtual mode of education.

Read below to learn more about Patel and her platform for the upcoming elections in East Windsor.

Name – Jagruti Patel

Age (as of Election Day) – 49

Position Sought –

East Windsor School Board member

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government? Yes – I worked for Federal Agency

Education –

B.S.in Accounting

Occupation –

Auditor for over 25 years

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office –

Current – 17 years on East Windsor Planning Board

Why are you seeking elective office?

I am seeking elective office so I can contribute and provide new ideas to the East Windsor educational system.

The single most pressing issue facing our school district is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.

The biggest issue facing our schools is the COVID-19 pandemic and teaching and learning in the virtual world. We need to provide adequate training for all the teachers, provide technology devices to staff and students so they can teach or learn from anywhere and try to promote the most successful learning environment remotely.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?

Bringing new ideas, promoting diversity and providing good education to all students in East Windsor township.

If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency).

We have to provide training

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Six candidates vying for three seats on the Muskegon Board of Education in the Nov. 3 election

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MUSKEGON, MI – Six candidates are vying for three open seats on the Muskegon Board of Education in the Nov. 3 general election.

Muskegon Public Schools is one of the largest districts in the county with 3,514 registered students this fall.

School board trustees serve six-year terms and are tasked with a variety of jobs including, approving an annual budget, hire and evaluate the superintendent, and adopting policies that give the district administration direction to set priorities and achieve its goals.

Three of the candidates – Zachary Anderson, Billie Bruce and Louis Churchwell – are incumbents seeking reelection.

The other three candidate are new challengers – Kwame Kamau James, Nicholas Sima and Jonathan Witmer.

Here is some background information provided by each of the candidates:

  • Anderson, 27, attended Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and now works as a consultant. He has served on the Muskegon school board for the past six years and has pushed for transparency and accountability from the administration, he said.
  • Bruce, 77, is a Muskegon Public Schools graduate and earned her degrees from Muskegon Community College and GVSU. She has served as secretary on the Muskegon school board for six years. She is a pediatric Registered Nurse and earned a certificate for Elementary Drug Free School Zones from Concordia University.
  • Churchwell, 62, is a clinician and Group Coordinator with HealthWest Muskegon. He graduated from Muskegon Public Schools in 1977 and currently serves as the school board’s Vice President. He studied at Grand Canyon University and earned two master’s degrees: a Masters of Science in Professional Counseling, and a Masters in the field of Substance Abuse/Addictions. He is a former CEO of West Michigan Therapy, Inc. and founder of Transitional Living Center in Muskegon Heights.
  • James, 45, is self-employed and earned his associate’s degree from Muskegon Community

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Sarah Mehrotra For State Board Of Education

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WASHINGTON, DC — In addition to voting for president and vice president of the United States in the Nov. 3 general election, voters in Washington, D.C., will choose a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives; at-large member of the D.C. Council; member of the D.C. Council for wards 2, 4, 7 and 8; U.S. senator; U.S. representative; at-large member of the State Board of Education; member of the State Board of Education for wards 2, 4, 7, and 8; and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner.

Sarah Mehrotra, 28, is a data and policy analyst at The Education Trust. She is running for the Ward 2 seat on the State Board of Education.

As part of its coverage of the 2020 election, Patch has asked candidates in select races in D.C. to fill out a questionnaire to describe why they think they’re the best person to fill the job they’re running for.

Candidate

Sarah Mehrotra

Age (as of Election Day)

28

Offices Sought

Ward 2 Board of Education

Party Affiliation

Democrat (SBOE is nonpartisan)

Family

Virat Gupta, Partner

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?

No

Education

Hamilton College and Harvard Graduate School of Education

Occupation

Data & Policy Analyst at The Education Trust

Campaign website

https://sarahforward2schools.c…

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office

None.

The single most pressing issue facing Ward 2 is overcrowding of our middle schools and this is what I intend to do about it.

We need a new middle school in the eastern end of the Ward.

Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?

I support Black Lives Matter. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, have made us sharply focus on racism that

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Princeton Board of Education Profile: Michele Tuck-Ponder

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PRINCETON, NJ — Incumbent Princeton Board of Education Vice-President Michele Tuck-Ponder is running for another term this coming election.

A resident of Princeton, Tuck-Ponder has held various offices in over the past 30 years, including Mayor. Tuck-Ponder says she’s a strong advocate for reasonable spending and cost saving measures. She wants to ensure all students get equal and excellent education without putting much burden on the taxpayer.

Read below to learn more about Tuck-Ponder and her platform for the upcoming elections in Princeton.

Name – Michele Tuck-Ponder

Age (as of Election Day) – 62

Position Sought – Member, Board of Education

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government? – No

Education –

B.S. Journalism, Northwestern University

J.D. University of Pennsylvania Law School

Occupation –

Executive Director, Destination Imagination (2017- present)

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office –

Princeton Township Committeewoman

Mayor, Princeton Township

Commissioner, Princeton Housing Authority

Campaign website –

www.mtp4boe.com

Why are you seeking elective office?

There are few more important duties of a community than ensuring that all children are provided with the best education possible. I am running for re-election to the Princeton Board of Education because of my commitment to equity in Princeton Public Schools. Good intentions and mission statements have proven to be ineffective in moving PPS to correct the inequities in our district. For the past three years, I have used my voice and my vote on the Board of Education to highlight and address issues of inequity in our schools.

The single most pressing issue facing our community is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.

Affordability. It is almost impossible for low income people to find affordable housing, taxpayers are feeling pressured, and schools and municipalities are struggling to meet the needs of our

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