Catasauqua Press

Thursday, July 27, 2017

School district is keeping a watchful eye

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 by MARK RECCEK Special to The Press in Local News

Innovative Arts Academy Charter School practices are being evaluated

Catasauqua Area School District has decided to take the necessary steps to ensure the Innovative Arts Academy Charter School, 330 Howertown Road, is following proper protocol.

Charter school payments continue to result in financial pressure to the district and taxpayers, with payments in the 2017-18 budget increasing to over $1.6 million.

District Superintendent Robert Spengler recently reached out to The Press regarding the current status of the charter school.

Concerns about the district’s previous interactions with the Medical Academy Charter School, which had been located at the same site, along with its current dealings with the Innovative Arts Academy Charter School, have led to far greater oversight.

“Considering our experience with the Medical Academy Charter School and the impact of the associated financial and curricular mismanagement that has cost the taxpayers of the Catasauqua Area School District over $150,000 in unpaid retirement contributions, the administration and board of school directors have a close eye on all activities of the Innovative Arts Academy Charter School Board of Trustees, their consultants, and current administration,” he said.

According to Spengler, the business practices, advertising and curricular offerings of the Innovative Arts Academy Charter School have been brought to the district’s attention.

Spengler noted such information “will be thoroughly and vigorously investigated.”

A representative of the charter school is expected to attend the 7 p.m. June 13 board meeting in the district administration office board room, 201 N. 14th St.