TEA moves to close Legacy Park Preparatory in Kaufman

 

KAUFMAN, Texas — The Texas Education Agency (TEA) revoked the charter for Honors Academy earlier this year and has now appointed a board of managers to liquidate assets and move to close Honors Academy and seven campuses who continue to falsely operating under the charter as public, accredited schools — including Legacy Park Preparatory in Kaufman, Texas.

Despite the TEA’s revocation of the charter on June 30, 2014, the school continues to act and advertise as if they are fully accredited and chartered through the state as mentioned several times on their website. Commissioner of Education Michael Williams informed the leadership at Honors Academy of the board appointment on November 13, 2014.

“Because the Honors charter has been revoked, the former charter school is prohibited by law from operating as a public charter school or receiving state funds,” said Commissioner Williams in a letter to Honors Academy.

“Because of the former charter school’s violations and the negative consequences to current and past students of the former charter school, I am compelled to appoint this Board to wind up its affairs,” he said.

Honors Academy was one of six open-enrollment charter schools that met the legislative criteria for mandatory revocation of their charter under Senate Bill 2 which passed the Texas Legislature in 2013 and required mandatory revocation of low-performing charters.

According to the TEA, Honors Academy has continued to operate a de facto private school but is falsely holding itself out as a public charter school and has refused to transfer its student records to the TEA, both violations to the Texas Education Code.

Honors Academy may still operate as “de facto private schools,” according to the TEA but warn parents, students, and even educators of the switch from public to private.

“Students and parents are advised that any current operation of the campuses of the school formerly known as Honors Academy is under the auspices of a privately run school,” the TEA stated in a release. “As a result, students enrolled in an Honors Academy campus are considered private school students and are not earning credit from a public, accredited school.”

Furthermore, the TEA advises parents to obtain copies of their student’s permanent records from the school. Parents encountering any difficulties securing their student’s records should contact the TEA Division of Charter School Administration at (512) 463-4047 for assistance.

“Teachers who remain on faculty at any Honors Academy campus should be advised that, as an employee of a private school, they are no longer contributing to the state Teacher’s Retirement System of Texas (TRS) and the current school year is not counted toward their years of service in TRS,” stated the TEA.

Honors Academy has until November 21, 2014, to request a formal review of the Commissioner’s decision.

"It is hard to see something that you worked so hard to build go away. As we grieve, we also need to look to the bright future that each of us will travel with wonderful memories of those people with whom we loved and shared a special time with at Legacy Park Preparatory School," Legacy Park Preparatory School stated on their Facebook page yesterday.

Other campuses affected include Branch Park Academy in Farmers Branch, Texas, Creekview Academy in Killeen, Texas, Landmark School, also known as Leadership Academy, in Palestine, Texas, Pinnacle Academy of Fine Arts in Fort Worth, Texas, Quest Academy in Dallas, Texas, and Wilmer Academy in Wilmer, Texas.

Students, parents and teachers at Honors Academy schools who may have questions regarding the charter revocation and its impact can contact the TEA Division of Charter School Administration at (512) 463-4047 or email teainfo@tea.state.tx.us. Additional parent resources are also available online, here.