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Founder of Portland's First Charter School Fired
03/07/2013   Reported By: Tom Porter

The founder and chief executive of Portland's first charter school has been fired following a disagreement with the institution for a "pattern of mismanagement." John Jaques was given the news by the board of directors of the Maine Baxter Academy of Technology and Science. Tom Porter has more.

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Founder of Portland's First Charter School Fired
Originally Aired: 3/7/2013 5:30 PM
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Board Vice-Chair Allison Crean Davis says they became aware a month ago that crucial funding needed for the signing of the charter was not in place, and this caused the board to step back and look at management practices.

"it was not working for moving forward and propelling the school forward in a way that we needed to," she says. "So we've worked pretty swiftly and tireless to rectify that situation and put us on much better footing."

And rectifying the situation, she says, involved getting rid of Jacques.

As for Jaques himself, he claims to be the victim of some unethical behavior.

"There is no pattern of mismanagement," he says. "What has happened is there was an offer from a large donor and the donor requested that I be replaced as the executive director. And that condition-type of donation, I feel, is unethical, and it's really what's behind this action by the board of directors today."

Board Vice-Chair Allison Crean Davis did confirm that there is a major donor who was an early supporter of Baxter Academy and had lost confidence in Jacques' leadership.

"And we do have a donor that had been, actually, an early supporter of Baxter Academy and had lost confidence in John's leadership," Davis says. "So he was interested in reengaging, he was excited about the direction the board was taking and was willing to provide additional support, but was not willing to do it with John at the helm."

The executive director of the Maine Charter School Commission, Bob Kautz, says the commission has been monitoring the situation and will work with the Baxter charter school board as it searches for a new executive director. Kautz says he expects Baxter Academy will meet the reequirements of the public charter school contract and be able to open this fall.

 

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