The state Department of Education is clarifying its reasons for putting Odyssey Charter School on Formal Review.
Education Secretary Susan Bunting explained DOE’s rationale in a letter sent to Odyssey Charter School Board President Josiah Wolcott Wednesday.
The school was put on probation last summer and two reasons cited have to do with failure to fulfill conditions of that probation.
DOE says Odyssey’s board is not allowed to have a majority of members from AHEPA family organizations. AHEPA is the Greek men’s fraternal organization that helped launch the school.
Bunting says - as of Feb. 10th - the nine person board had five AHEPA members. Since the letter was written, Michael Klezaras stepped down for insensitive remarks made at a board meeting in January. But Board Chair Josiah Wolcott told Delaware Public Media this week AHEPA would fill that slot.
Bunting also told Odyssey it has failed to submit a plan to fill future non-AHEPA board vacancies using a nominating committee consisting of only the non-AHEPA Family board members.
Bunting says the review will also examine whether Odyssey has “satisfactory plan to ensure the effectiveness of its board of trustees,” arguing the recent insensitive remarks about neighboring Antonia Alonso Charter School show a lack of effectiveness on the board’s part.
The review process begins with a Charter School Accountability Committee Meeting March 2nd. Odyssey will have a chance to respond, and there will be public hearings in March and April before the Education Secretary at State Board make a final decision on April 23rd.