Tuesday, November 17, 2015
DEFICIT? WHAT DEFICIT? OH, THAT DEFICIT? Unlike Buena Vista Schools, Bay City Academy Gets Kid-Glove Treatment From Michigan Department of Education.When Will State Finally Kick The Stool Out From Under Steven Ingersoll's 'Ponzi' Academy?
Well, at least we now know who nabbed the job Patrick “The Stalker” Cleland was supposed to get (“It's his job to lose,” said Mitten Educational Management Boy Wonder Brian Lynch, quoted on April 30, 2015 in an MLive article on Cleland's pending rise to Bay City Academy Superintendent.)
In a letter dated November 6, 2015, the Michigan Department of Education sent an overly tactful request to the charter school that's about to miss more debt payments than Greece.
Informing Kurt Grangood (identified as the school's superintendent) and Board President Craig Johnston (an Ingersoll homie since their years together on the Bay City Planing Commission) that “we are sending this letter because the Michigan Department of Education (the “MDE”) has learned that Bay City Academy ended fiscal year 2014-2015 with a deficit fund balance”, it appears the MDE might be late to the party — and that turns out to be true.
As I revealed exclusively weeks ago on October 29, the Bay City Academy's 2015 financial report showed the shrinking, stumbling charter school had a significant operating deficit in 2015, resulting in a “cash flow shortage”. As of June 30, 2015, the Academy's General Fund had a deficit fund balance of $1,374,477. (Total revenues for the year were just short of $4.0 million dollars.)
And while its audit indicated a “plan of action” would be filed with the State of Michigan, it appears “Proactiv” is just pimple medication — not a verb on a Bay City Academy vocabulary quiz.
Officially confirming the Academy's deficit status today in an email, Jeff Kolb, of the Michigan Department of Education's State Aid and School Finance office, revealed the MDE “first learned of Bay City Academy’s deficit when they uploaded their Financial Information Data to us.”
Funny, back in 2013, the schools in Buena Vista were brutally shut down in early May after the district ran out of money to pay teachers. The state withheld aid payments for April, May and June, claiming the district misspent funds intended for a juvenile detention program it no longer operated.
According to Kolb, the Bay City Academy's Deficit Elimination Plan is due December 9, 2015 — one day after its founder, Steven Ingersoll, is due to be sentenced in federal court.
On March 10, 2015, a jury convicted Ingersoll of two counts of tax evasion and one count of conspiracy to commit tax evasion.