June 09, 2020 12:00 AM
For Immediate Release:
For more information, contact:
Alabama Education Association
Woodland Prep’s Charter is Revoked
Montgomery, Alabama, June 9, 2020 – The Alabama Education Association (AEA) is very pleased and gratified the Alabama Public Charter School Commission voted today to revoke the charter of Woodland Prep – the unwanted proposed charter school project in Washington County. The Commission voted to approve revocation on all three proposed grounds: failure to satisfy charter contract pre-opening conditions; failure to satisfy charter contract as to funding and fundraising; and failure to establish community support and outreach.
The Commission’s votes today validate each of the concerns AEA leaders in Washington County brought to our attention, which led to AEA filing a lawsuit against the school and its out-of-state backers. Many of the allegations in the lawsuit track the findings of the Commission – especially with regard to financial mismanagement and lack of community support. The Commission’s action renders AEA’s lawsuit moot, as the school will not be allowed to open and is no longer authorized under state law.
AEA President Sherry Tucker said, “AEA has consistently said we support good charter schools. Woodland Prep was not going to be a good charter school. We are thankful the Commission was able to see that and to stop this school from opening before any taxpayer money was wasted and, more importantly, before any child’s irreplaceable education time was lost.”
AEA Associate Executive Director Theron Stokes said, “This was a long time coming. Our members in Washington County, along with local political leaders, kept crying out about this charter school until they were heard, first by us and then by the Commission. I hope this case serves as a warning shot to out-of-state corporate interests who may be looking to Alabama to make money in the charter school business. Where charter schools have been the result of grassroots activism by Alabamians, we have supported and will support them. Where they are a money-grabbing scheme, AEA will stand against them. The votes today also confirm, now, the members of the Commission are going to hold them accountable.”
AEA joins the educators, students, parents, and community leaders in southwest Alabama celebrating the demise of Woodland Prep today and hopes to join them for an in-person celebration as soon as circumstances allow.