El Dorado County Office of Education Refuses Funding to Charter School forcing Closure
... The school will close because a lack of funding has left it unable to meet the standards of its charter, but officials point fingers over who is to blame. David Underwood, the Father’s Heart Charter chief executive, argues the school was never given special education funding that it was entitled to, leaving the campus unable to sustain itself.However, the El Dorado County Office of Education insists the school failed to justify funding in even the most basic ways, and that Underwood demands funding over which the school has no legitimate claim. Although the school is within the Palm Springs Unified School District, the El Dorado County Special Education Local Planning Area provides the school with leadership, program and financial support.
According to Palm Springs Unified documents, the district had grown concerned about the charter school because of low test scores, a shrinking student body and questionable finances.
The charter school repeatedly borrowed money from Father’s Heart Ranch in Desert Hot Springs, and ended the 2011-2012 school year with a deficit of almost $190,000. An audit of that year has never been provided to the El Dorado County Office of Education, causing them to ultimately cut off funding for the school. The charter school’s auditors resigned in March after trying to get the school to complete the audit for eight month, although Underwood said the auditors have returned to complete the audit by June.
This funding dispute will continue, but the decision to close the school has been made.