Top performing public charter school continues moving forward initiating litigation against its former Charter Management Organization
Chino, California – March 17, 2017 Oxford Preparatory Academy Interim Executive Director, today announced a lawsuit against Edlighten Learning Solutions (ELS) (formerly known as Oxford Preparatory Academy Schools, and Oxford Preparatory Academy Alliance) and former ELS Executive Director and President, Sue Roche. The lawsuit, filed with the Superior Court of California for the County of Orange, alleges that ELS created a chain of interrelated corporate entities and entered into a series of contracts that diverted public education funds away from the school to financially benefit ELS and others.
The complaint alleges that Oxford Prep’s former Charter Management Organization, ELS, under the auspices of a legitimate business affiliation, strategically deceived the school and its stakeholders.
In the November 2016 Extraordinary Audit, the state’s Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) reported, “Interviews indicate that following the petition renewal in 2012, the founder created a complex structure of charter management corporations that exercised significant influence over transactions and contracts between these entities, and secured considerable financial benefit through contracts that charged management service fees up to 10 percent, funneling charter school dollars from OPA schools … and charging for services that already existed.”
Upon learning of these allegations, Oxford Prep took immediate and aggressive action, permanently severing all ties with ELS, Sue Roche, and any individual or entity involved with the alleged scheme. The school has elected an entirely new Board of Directors, replaced its entire executive leadership and has instituted policies targeting anti-nepotism, increasing oversight, and internal financial controls, and created a comprehensive recovery plan. These changes ensure that ELS and associated parties cannot ever again exert control or influence over Oxford Prep or its operations.