Teachers and parents unhappy with the management of charter schools

Abbie Sossamon

Fed up with what they saw as a lack of communication and mismanagement, teachers and staff at Cherokee Charter Academy staged a sit-in on Wednesday morning.

About 35-40 teachers and staff attended after reaching a boiling point with administration and management.

The boiling point?

The dismissal of the director of the MTSS on Wednesday morning who had been in office for two weeks.

Several teachers alleged that the principal was fired after asking questions about the school’s budget. They said they had been asking for the budget for eight months after supplies shelves stood empty and PE teachers’ request for “bouncing basketballs” was denied.

Problems have been occurring since about November, a teacher said, and the sudden departure of former headmistress Tessa Waldrep in January appeared to compound those problems.

Cherokee Charter Academy is a public charter school operated by Tutledge Education Solutions.

Tutledge CEO Tony Helton held a two-hour meeting with these teachers and many concerned parents, however, The Ledger was not permitted to participate in the meeting.

Meeting attendees said it was “chaotic” and “circular” with questions left unanswered.

The school administration has promised to send the budget by the end of the week.

Helton said the school is changing after losing the school principal, but after hearing the concerns of parents and teachers, they will make solid changes to make the school run more efficiently.

He further said that concerns about teachers’ finances were new to him.

Pupils were never left unsupervised as each class has an assistant, teachers said.

Parents flocked to the school to collect their children after hearing about the sit-in, and many said in passing: “I hope they understand this, my child loves this school.”

Teachers echoed those sentiments and are hopeful the issues can be resolved.

More details on the situation will be released soon.

Jeremy S. McLain