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CHARTER SCHOOL: An Uncertain Future

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The Des Moines School Board says it will decide the future of the Des Moines Charter School by the end of the month.  The board acknowledged Tuesday night, the Charter School will face a budget shortfall next year.  It is unlikely the Des Moines School Board will provide additional funding for the Charter School and questioned if the Charter School Foundation, a non-profit that raises private funding for the school, will be able to bridge the budget gap.

The foundation's 2011 tax return shows it had a balance of $167,000 in the bank.  We contacted The Charter School Foundation's chairperson, Kittie Weston-Knauer for current financial information.  She told us it was not immediately available.

Weston-Knauer not only chairs the Charter School's Foundation, she is also Project Manager for the Charter School.  In addition, her consulting firm, KWK Enterprises was paid $55,000 for developing policies and programs at the new Charter School.  When asked if that represents a conflict of interest, Weston-Knauer said, "No, because I'm not involved in the day-to-day activities at the school.

The Charter School Foundation Board will meet Friday.  The time and place have not been determined.  The Des Moines School Board plans to schedule a meeting the week of May 28th, at which time a decision about the future of the Des Moines Charter School is expected.

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