Deion Sanders' charter school faces closure by the state for financial issues
The charter school co-founded by Hall of Fame football player Deion Sanders faces closure by the state for improper financial dealings.
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By Keith Whitmire
The charter school co-founded by Hall of Fame football player Deion Sanders faces closure for improper financial dealings.
The parent organization for Prime Prep Academy was issued a letter of intent by the Texas Education Agency to revoke the charter for the school, which opened two years ago.
Prime Prep superintendent Ron Price told The Dallas Morning News the school intends to appeal the TEA's findings.
At issue is $45,830.92 the Texas Department of Agriculture told Prime Prep it needed to repay by May 12. The school received the money for subsidized meals but provided no documentation that the meals were ever served.
In April, the Texas Department of Agriculture ended its agreement with Prime Prep, causing the school to no longer be eligible for free lunches and other subsidized meal programs.
Sanders blamed the dispute on D.L. Wallace, his former business partner and fellow Prime Prep founder, on his twitter account (@DeionSanders):
"My former Co-Founder DL Wallace was a Crook and Heartless and we are still suffering from his Devilish ways. TEA informed Prime Prep.
"They would revoke the charter pending appeal for the Food Program that Wallace hustled the state out of 45,000 $ [sic]. We will appeal immediately."
Prime Prep has been a troubled institution in a number of areas since its opening. In addition to claims of financial mismanagement, its athletic program withdrew from the University Interscholastic League, which presides over public school competition in the state, when it struggled to conform to eligibility rules.
Two Prime Prep basketball products, LSU's Jordan Mickey and TCU'sKarviar Shepherd were denied initial eligibility by the NCAA. Their college eligibility was later restored on appeal.
On Monday, Prime Prep product Emmanuel Mudiay, one of the nation's top basketball recruits, announced he would forego his scholarship to SMU and play professionally overseas. Mudiay issued a statement that his decision was based on financial hardship, but the timing raised questions as to whether his eligibility was being investigated by the NCAA.
Sanders himself has been the subject of controversy in his role with Prime Prep. The school briefly cut ties with him last fall when the school's chief financial officer, Kevin Jefferson, told police that Sanders grabbed him by the collar and pushed him into a wall. Sanders was issued a citation for misdemeanor assault.