San Antonio charter school district suspended for numerous violations

The Texas Education Agency has temporarily suspended the San Antonio School for Inquiry and Creativity (SASIC) District less than a month before school begins, although district officials are optimistic they’ll be able to open on time.

Parents of the 600 students who attend are awaiting the outcome of a Wednesday hearing that could lift or cement the suspension. Some are already looking at other schools.

Once the charter school received the letter from TEA on Friday, superintendent Tonja Nelson stepped down, according to Jose Macias, executive director of resource development at SASIC.

TEA: SCHOOL ‘FAILED TO PROTECT’ STUDENTS

In the letter, the TEA said “the charter school failed to protect the health, safety, or welfare of the students,” partly as a result of food handling and sanitation concerns.

The agency also said SASIC “operated multiple unapproved charter school sites.”

Most troubling to the TEA, though, was its finding that 30 out of 107 SASIC employees had failed to complete the required fingerprinting and criminal background check process, although superintendents “falsely confirmed that the charter school complied” from 2014 to 2016.

“I can assure you student safety is of the utmost importance at SASIC,” Macias said. “All those allegations have either been addressed or unsubstantiated.”

Six of the 30 employees who hadn’t been fingerprinted “separated from employment” within a month of the Feb. 16 discovery. “The failure to ensure that all SASIC employees are fingerprinted before being employed with the school created a substantial risk to students,” according to the TEA’s investigation.

“The notification we received is part of the protocol, but it is not a determination,” Macias said. “We are still fully operational, and we will be continuing with our efforts to open our school Aug. 21.”

REP. BERNAL: ROTTEN MEAT, UNLICENSED FACILITIES PROMPTED…

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