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Judge Rules Against Dade Charter Schools In Misconduct Complaint

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(Source: Thinkstock)

(Source: Thinkstock)

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – An administrative law judge Monday said the state should revoke the participation of two Miami-Dade County charter schools in voucher programs because they falsely claimed two students were enrolled.

But Judge Claude B. Arrington also recommended that the two related schools, known as Barrington Academy and Barrington Academy II, should be able to re-apply to the voucher programs if they meet conditions, such as fully reimbursing the state for improper voucher payments and showing they have put in place procedures to ensure compliance in the future.

The state Department of Education moved to revoke the participation of the Florida City schools in the state’s McKay Scholarship Program and the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program after they were alleged to have received McKay program payments for two students who were not enrolled.

The department also alleged that a school employee endorsed scholarship checks that had been made out to the two students’ parents and put the money in a Barrington bank account. Arrington wrote that the Department of Education proved that the schools “repeatedly failed” to comply with state law during a period that began in August 2011 with one student and lasted until February 2014 with the other student.

Barrington Academy has reimbursed the state for $12,230 in payments for the first student, and Barrington Academy II has set aside $8,316 with its attorney to reimburse the state for the other student, according to Arrington’s recommended order.

The judge wrote that the people responsible for the misconduct have left the schools or been fired and that an employee has been hired to ensure compliance in the future. Under the state’s administrative laws, Arrington’s recommendation will go to the Department of Education for final action.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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