Last night, the Denver Public School District seized hard drives from the Contemporary Learning Academy, in order to investigate allegations that the school set up “dummy classrooms” with “dummy students.”
The alleged misconduct would have increased government funding to the Academy. Schools receive state funding based on pupil head counts on the October “count day.”
Several internal school documents and e-mails reveal so-called “dummy” classes set up by administrators at Denver’s Contemporary Learning Academy. The “dummy classes” and the fake students who are enrolled in them appear to be an effort to falsify enrollment numbers on student count day to get more money from the state.
7News says it is still investigating whether this is an isolated incident at the Contemporary Learning Academy, or a systemic problem in the Denver Public School System.
The investigation comes on the heels of September allegations that the Cesar Chavez Schools Network—a charter school network with campuses in Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and online—overpaid its executives, inflated its test scores, and created a culture of fear by bringing dozens of lawsuits against employees and board members.
The administrators at Cesar Chavez were eventually fired, but not until after they allegedly instituted a lockout at one of their schools and required staff to sign a loyalty oath in order to keep their jobs.
Note: This post has been updated to reflect the fact that the Contemporary Learning Academy is NOT a charter school. Reporter Katie Redding sincerely regrets that error in the first version of this post.