Golden View Claims Money Being Withheld

Golden View Classical Academy claims superintendent and board are withholding their money and begin making claims on social media to disparage the board, district, and superintendent, using this as a reason to vote for the other candidates.

Here’s a quote from a GVCA parent and frequent board critic/WNW fan Leonor Lucero  –

“This week, my husband and I found out that the Jeffco school board and Superintendent are withholding funds from our charter school. My child attends Golden View Classical Academy (GVCA) and the curriculum and culture have helped her blossom and it helped my son as well. They love school and Sunday dinners are filled with discussions about what they are learning in school.

“So I am sad, mad and frankly fearful that the Jeffco school board and the new Superintendent, Jason Glass, are withholding funds meant to educate my child and the other 669 students at GVCA. If they can do this to our children, will the charter students in Montessori, Waldorf or Expeditionary schools be next? It is no surprise that this school board and Superintendent Glass aren’t fans of the Classical, Core Knowledge curriculum our school uses, as it is counter-cultural to today’s student-led educational model. But hundreds of parents have chosen our school (in fact we have a wait list in the hundreds) and our children deserve the funding necessary to educate our students.

“The district went into our student database and exported our parent emails and sent an email to families saying our school didn’t send our financial audit on time AND the district included ALL media outlets in the email. Even if that were true, which it isn’t, how is it OK for the board and Superintendent to withhold our tax dollars, which they collect and are supposed to be used to EDUCATE our students? How does an adult misunderstanding justify this extremely punitive action?

“We are lucky that GVCA has been fiscally conservative and this won’t affect the education of our students. But what if we were a brand new charter who couldn’t afford even one month of no funding? How would we pay our teachers? How would we keep our doors open to educate our 670 kids?

“The district and our school now have to spend money which belongs in classrooms on attorneys. Is this really a good use of our limited resources? I can’t believe this board and Superintendent think withholding funds meant to educate our students is ever an OK answer to an adult misunderstanding. If they can do this to our school, whose will be next? If you live in Jeffco, please SHARE this. And vote this November for a board change. A board who supports charter schools.”

And, of course, Derec Shuler (one of the Golden View Classical Academy founders) and recalled John Newkirk were sharing bad information online as well.

      

The thing is, that’s NOT true. GVCA hasn’t met their deadlines and obligations. Even though Golden View tried to tell their parents otherwise and told parents to email the board and district staff to complain, the district sent them correct information:

Dear Golden View Classical Academy Community,

Today Jeffco Public Schools has received several inquiries regarding whether any funds have been withheld from Golden View Classical Academy (GVCA). The short answer is no.

According to the current contracts between Jeffco Public Schools and all charter schools, the schools (including GVCA) must complete an annual financial audit. In GVCA’s contract the due date to provide the audit draft to the district is September 15. As of this date, the district has not received that documentation. As we are still within the funds disbursement window, there have been no dollars withheld from GVCA. However, it may become an issue if the required financial report is not received by the district.

Jeffco Public Schools is invested in the success of all the schools in the district. The district is legally required to include charter schools in the district annual audit that is submitted to the Colorado Department of Education. The district relies upon charter schools to adhere to certain financial reporting deadlines; missing deadlines jeopardizes the district’s ability to carry out its legal obligations, particularly with regard to financial reporting.

The deadlines are set forth in our charter contracts, and we ensure that charter school administrators are aware of them prior to the start of each academic year. See the communication timeline summary between GVCA and the district below.

Jeffco Public Schools sincerely hopes to resolve this issue quickly. Ensuring students have resources they need is critical – but ensuring our schools are operating in accordance with their contract and/or state law is also essential for compliance with the financial transparency act.

We hope this clarifies the situation. Please contact GVCA school leaders if you have further questions.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Askelson

Chief Financial Officer

Jeffco Public Schools

 

Due notice of deadlines is required by contract; here is a timeline summary of the district communication with GVCA:

  • June 25, 2016: Charter Principal’s Meeting included an agenda item covering due dates
  • July 21, 2016: Email from district to GVCA business office regarding due dates
  • November 16, 2016: Email from district to GVCA board representative and administration regarding due dates
  • November 30, 2016: At an in- person meeting between district and GVCA staff a hard copy of due dates was provided & reviewed
  • March 27, 2017: Email from district to GCVA business office with another reminder of due dates
  • August 15, 2017: Email from district to GVCA business office and administration with reminder of September 15 due date
  • August 16, 2017: GVCA responded to district stating there were no foreseen problems with providing the draft audit by September 15
  • September 6, 2017: District emailed about the audit due date again
  • September 7, 2017: District was informed by GCVA that all in-house work was completed on 8/21 and GVCA would reach out to their auditor about the draft audit
  • September 15, 2017: No audit was received by Jeffco Public Schools from GVCA; a 10-day “grace period” to meet compliance as specified in the contract took effect
  • September 27, 2017: No audit has been received by Jeffco Public Schools

Diana M. Wilson | Chief Communications Officer

Jeffco Public Schools | 1829 Denver West Dr., Bldg. 27, 4th Fl. | Golden CO 80401

 

Since board candidate Matt Van Gieson is a parent and PTO president at Golden View Classical Academy, we hope he’ll be demanding financial transparency from them. Hopefully, also an apology to the community for Golden View’s misleading information provided to parents.

Golden View chose to use their own auditor instead of the one everyone else uses (including other charters), which is fine until you fail to meet deadlines.

Public schools, all of them, have to comply with statutes and should not receive taxpayer dollars until they do so. That includes GVCA.

 

Final note – this has to do with Golden View NOT complying with requirements and working with financial services and the district. It has nothing to do with board members.