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PCSB executive director to testify before D.C. Council on Options PCS

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The D.C. Public Charter School Board revealed that today at 11 a.m. its executive director Scott Pearson will be testifying before Councilman David Catania and his education committee regarding the situation regarding Options Public Charter School. His remarks have been posted on-line and there is some extremely interesting information contained in the material.

First, on tonight's PCSB monthly meeting agenda is a discussion of the revised rules for contract and charter school board meeting minutes submission. Mr. Pearson explains that based upon the numerous comments received about these procedures the Board will conduct another public comment period and take a final vote at the February meeting.

Second, the PCSB is searching for a replacement for Options should the board take a final vote to rescind the school's charter effective at the end of the 2014 to 2015 term. Toward that effort the PCSB has hired Tami Lewis, who used to spearhead Special Education services for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to work with OSSE, the Special Education Cooperative, DCPS, and charter schools to come up with a viable plan. The solution, according to Mr. Pearson, could very well include another charter taking over the existing Options site to form a new middle and high school that would serve emotionally and physically disabled students.

Mr. Pearson also indicates that all PCSB employees have taken ethics training as a result of the numerous conflict of interest activities alleged to have been conducted by the organization's former chief financial officer Jeremy Williams.

Finally, the charter oversight body has hired PriceWaterhouseCoopers to review the Board's methods for contract and financial reviews for the schools under its authority. But the bombshell is that PWC is also inspecting contracts over the past 24 months to see if other Options-like problems exist. My inquiry about whether similar problems have taken place at other charters has never been answered.

My next question is why the only way we have to learn these things is by reading written testimony submitted to the D.C. Council?

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