Thursday, April 28, 2016

READIN', 'RITIN', AND ROTTEN SCORES: Bay City Academy 2014-2015 MEAP Scores; Slide Continues

Skidding scores at the Bay City Academy; Miss Fortune is reviewing the 2014-15 MEAP report.

Analysis to come, but here's a preview: a slice comparing 4th Grade Content reading scores between the two school years. While the overall state average 4th grade proficiency dropped by 25 percent, the Bay City Academy's "percent proficient" slid by 37 percent, going from 51.2 percent to 14.7 percent.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

CUPCAKES, BULLDOZERS, BUDGETS & BUILDING PERMITS: Grand Traverse Academy Board's Financial Wobble

This morning Stanley Skopek, of Michigan's Bureau of Construction Codes, responding to my email inquiry about the status of the Grand Traverse Academy's proposed expansion, stated that a “plan review was completed for that name but no records of a permit yet.” 

Although the 20-year lease resolution was signed, sealed and delivered during a "special meeting" by four board members (left) on February 2, 2016, it appears the financial scramble has not ended.

In its April 25 meeting, the Academy board reviewed financials and approved a budget resolution.

Year-to-date projections were adjusted, with revised documents shipped off to Patrick Sweeney at the Academy's accounting firm, Rochester-based Crosskey Lanni. Pending Sweeney's review, the financials will be delivered to the hot hands of a loan officer at Traverse City State Bank.

Here are the numbers:

Aside from the obvious sloppiness of "FY16 (11-20-12)", the budget document is confusing, especially when compared to a more formal budget vs. actual for the first two quarters of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016.

As you can see, the revenue figure was adjusted downward, requiring revisions in budget line items.

Looking at this year's numbers, it's hard to see how another $360,000 could be squeezed out of next year's to make lease payments — even with an increase in student population.

So why did the school go forward with a March 18 ceremonial ground breaking, three days after a whistle blower's email revealed to the entire Grand Traverse Academy board and key charter office personnel at Lake Superior State University the $12,500 monthly wire transfers Noss had made to Steven Ingersoll, beginning April 2014?

My guess? 

Those Oreo cookie-dirt encrusted cupcakes weren't going to eat themselves!


Miss Fortune published a comment yesterday that contained a serious allegation about Mancelona's North Central Academy: the lack of a required special education instructor.

Another reader provided a link to vital information about special education in Michigan's public school academies.

Here's a recap of the reader's allegation:

“A dear friend of mine who still attends NCA said that they have not had a special ed instructor in the building for months now. This is completely out of line and not fair to the principal and staff. Most importantly, this is not fair to those kids who need special ed assistance. 

They are going to pull their child at the end of this school year. Brian Lynch's ignorance to run a school like NCA has caused this whole situation. To make it worse, he's arrogant and full of himself. At least that's how he was when I knew him. I can't blame the staff and parents for wanting out of there. Someone needs to kick him out and get someone in there that knows what they're doing.” 

If there has been unlawful discrimination of a student needing special education services, contact the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

GRAND TRAVERSE ACADEMY BOARD PRESIDENT BRAD HABERMEHL A NO-SHOW AT YESTERDAY'S MEETING: Habermehl's $155,969.40 7th Circuit Court Consent Judgment Requires $500 Monthly Payments...For 20 Years!

Miss Fortune can report that Habermehl skipped yesterday's  Grand Traverse Academy "special meeting to review financials", and is-she-isn't-she board member Danna Haba was MIA. 

Guess we won't know her status until the March 2016 meeting minutes are approved and unveiled.

The meeting was called to review year-to-date financials in an apparent effort to finalized funding for the charter school's expansion. With a triple-net lease on the line, requiring monthly payments beginning at $30,000 that escalate within a year to $38,000, Mark Noss is keen to wrap up his construction cash bundle. 

Noss and his management company, Full Spectrum, recently made news when the federal government filed stunning documents in Steven Ingersoll's case. In an email to the entire GTA board and Lake Superior State University charter officials, a former employee revealed Noss, who repeats "it has nothing to do with the Grand Traverse Academy" so often it's become his mantra, paid Ingersoll $12,500 a month beginning days after he assumed nominal control of the Grand Traverse Academy in March 2014.

Miss Fortune is waiting for the other shoe to drop: were those payments only part of the income stream flowing from Noss to Ingersoll?

Oh, Noss introduced yet another Full Spectrum Management accountant. So is that number 5, 6 or 7?

Ah, who's counting?

Now back to Habermehl: according to the official consent judgment, as long as he makes monthly $500 payments to First Merit bank, the worst that will happen is a state income tax garnishment and/or the filing of a property lien.

Now that's transparency!


Monday, April 25, 2016


Miss Fortune is guessing the Grand Traverse Academy's "staff gathering room" is a bit smaller than the Waldorf Astoria's Grand Ballroom.

If you're planning on attending, I'd advise you to get there early.