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Web letter: Brown Academy board provides strong oversight

I write in response to “Questionable oversight” (May 1), specifically related to these statements, “(National Heritage) would not provide … access to their records … other school corporations in the state of Indiana,” and “The 2011 audit for the Andrew J. Brown Academy cited concerns with oversight of the school’s management contract with NHA, financial reporting, federal grants, cash receipts and more.”

The Indiana State Board of Accounts audits charter schools every two years, and Andrew J. Brown Academy received clean reports from the SBA for fiscal year 2006 and fiscal year 2008. Fiscal year 2010 was the third audit. Nothing in the financial management of the schools has changed since their opening 2003 for AJB. NHA is a private company and serves as a compliant vendor to schools, as many other companies do.

The SBA took the position that it did not recognize National Heritage Academies as a private company that acts as a vendor to the school and requested full access to the financial records of NHA. The services agreement in place between the schools and NHA has been vetted and approved by the State of Indiana, the authorizers of the schools and the Internal Revenue Service.

The schools NHA supports are governed by a highly competent group of community leaders that provide oversight over all aspects of school operations. The schools operate under a budget approved in advance by the Board of each school. The Boards receive detailed budgets and financial statements which are received at a minimum every quarter and discussed at Board meetings.

The board disagreed with most of the findings included in the SBA report. However they agreed to consider all suggestions and continue to provide strong oversight and diligence in the management of the schools. I also noted that the article says the “education management company” disagreed with most of the findings. The responses to the SBA’s reports were from the Boards of the schools, not NHA.

TINA SULLIVAN Franco Public Relations (Public Relations Agency representing NHA) Detroit