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The leader of Paramount Charter School in Broward County, now closed, was indicted for theft of federal funds. The school opened in 2015, promising to provide an education that would meet “the highest academic and personal standards.” Didn’t happen, say parents. After compiling a terrible academic record, the school closed in 2017.
Shauta Freeman, who said she sent three children there from 2015 to 2016, said the lights cut off at times, the water wouldn’t run, and so many teachers were fired that students from various grade levels were crowded into one room. “It was a nightmare.”
Now, the former president of the school, Jimika Williams, has been federally indicted on the charge of stealing federal funds from the school and committing wire fraud.…
The indictment accuses Williams of embezzling nearly $389,000 in funds intended to go toward the school’s operating expenses. Instead, the indictment says they were used to buy a new car, pay her rent at a lavish Davie home and other expenses.
According to the indictment, Williams transferred funds from the school’s bank account to a shell account she set up to “deceive” other members of the governing board, auditors, local education authorities and others...
Freeman said the school initially sounded amazing when she first enrolled her children. But shortly after starting school she said her kids reported being left outside for long stretches of time, little to no instruction, days without lunch, and fighting between teachers and students...
According to the indictment, while Paramount struggled to staff classrooms and properly educate students, Williams made off with hundreds of thousands of dollars meant for the school.
Between 2015 and 2017, the indictment says she made almost monthly transfers between the school’s account and a shell account she created for sums ranging from $3,000 to $50,000 at a time.
This kind of behavior can be expected in states where anyone can open a charter school, and where oversight, accountability, and transparency are lax.