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Friday, October 15, 2021

AND THEN THERE'S THIS: Michigan's Most Notorious Public Teat-Sucker ("Mr. Farragut Schoolhouse" Himself, Steven Ingersoll) Owes $1.6 Million In Unpaid Federal Taxes For 2009, 2010

So this will frost your pumpkins: while Steven Ingersoll admitted on December 9, 2015 (under oath during questioning by Assistant U. S. Attorney Janet Parker) that he'd fabricated an accounts receivable scheme as financial cover for the illegal diversion of over $5.0 million from the Grand Traverse Academy, he still owes nearly $1.7 million in back taxes from 2009 and 2010.


The man reaping the benefit of taxpayer largesse in the form of inflated Bay City Academy rent payments for his Farragut Schoolhouse building can't seem to come up with the cash to pay his court-mandated federal tax obligations.

Scoop, there it is!


 

Friday, October 8, 2021

BAY CITY ACADEMY'S MANAGEMENT COMPANY PARTNER & SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT BRIAN LYNCH COMPLETED HIS MASTERS DEGREE IN 2016...SO WHY DID HE WAIT UNTIL HE WAS CAUGHT IN 2021 TO APPLY FOR HIS SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR CERTIFICATION? (Here's A Hint: Avoiding The REP To Continue The Double-Dip)

So why did Brian Lynch, who'd completed his Grand Valley State University Masters degree in 2016, wait until he was under investigation by the Michigan Department of Education's Certification Compliance team to apply for School Administrator certification?

Lynch, lacking the required certification, became Superintendent of the Bay City Academy at the beginning of the 2016/2017 school year.

According to disclosure documents previously posted on the Academy's website, Lynch earned an annual salary/benefits package ranging from $82,550 to $102,440 for the years between 2016-2019.

And while Lynch's annual compensation packages were subsequently scrubbed from the Academy's "transparency reporting" tab and replaced with this blatantly misleading statement (AKA "lie"), using the previously-disclosed actual financials, Lynch likely averaged upwards of $90,000 per year in salary/benefits compensation during the five years in question.

In addition to a management contract paying Lynch and his Mitten Educational Management business partner, Michael Randel, nine percent of the Bay City Academy's annual revenue, Brian Lynch (in my opinion) fraudulently extracted an additional $450,000 between the 2016-2020 school years from the charter school founded by convicted felon Steven Ingersoll.

A clue that could answer the "why did he wait" question can be found in this MDE email response, generated by my August 9, 2021 inquiry initiating the Lynch investigation:



Lynch may have avoided obtaining the required School Administrator Certificate, and a listing in the Michigan Department of Education's Registry of Personnel (and a pesky audit), simply to continue the grift.

And even though the Bay City Academy is under supervision by the Michigan Treasury, Lynch still managed to drain a mid-six figure amount from a school that was experiencing "rapidly deteriorating financial circumstances".

Previously undetected by anyone responsible for oversight, the cash is now out of the bag .

Although "Superintendent" Lynch was the longtime "face" of the Bay City Academy's Facebook page, (shown above from August 14, 2021) in mid-August his image was replaced with one featuring the Academy's first graduating class and the slogan "Actions over words, service over self".

I'm guessing Lynch would have crafted a much different slogan...maybe recognizing the near-daily glut of fundraising.


Thursday, September 30, 2021

"IN THE MATTER OF BAY CITY ACADEMY CERTIFICATION PENALTY": Bay City Academy's 2020 State Aid Penalty Revealed

The Michigan Department of Education's current investigation into the certification status of Brian Lynch, the self-proclaimed (and lushly paid) Superintendent of the Bay City Academy, isn't the MDE's first dive into the Bay City charter school.

Nope.

As detailed in the MDE's August 11, 2021 "Phone call with Brian Lynch" memorandum (obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request), the official relates a conversation with Lynch.

Unconvinced when Lynch initially asserted he was "not aware" that he needed certification for one half of his dual-duty role as Superintendent, the head of Mitten Educational Management was schooled by the MDE official.

The official easily poked a hole in Lynch's flaccid defense, reminding the double-dipper that "Bay City Academy had received a State Aid deduction in just the previous school year due to one of their educators not holding certification all while Mr. Lynch did not hold certification."

Here are the details of Bay City Academy's August 7, 2020 MDE Certification Penalty case.


On June 15, 2020, the Michigan Department of Education notified the Bay City Academy that it had determined the charter school employed, in violation of state law, a teacher working without a valid Michigan teaching certificate.

The MDE assessed a $5,362.16 state aid deduction against the Bay  Academy, the amount of salary the school paid the teacher during the period of non-compliance.

Bay City Academy appealed the assessment to the Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction on June 26, 2020, and chose to present its appeal at a review conference (held on July 22, 2020).

The MDE issued a "Standard Secondary Teaching Certificate" on January 11, 2013 to a teacher who began teaching at the North Central Academy campus of the Bay City Academy in November of 2016. The certificate expired on June 30, 2019, but the teacher's certificate was not renewed until October 17, 2019.

Bay City Academy continued to employ the teacher at the North Central Academy without a valid Michigan teaching certificate when "Bay City Academy did not hold a substitute permit allowing" employment.

MDE reminders were sent to the teacher by email on February 11, April 10 and May 24, 2019 about the upcoming certificate expiration.

The teacher did not contact the MDE during 2019 until applying for a renewal of the certificate on October 15, 2019--nearly four months after the certificate expired.

In its defense, the Bay City Academy accused the MDE of "lack of diligence" leading to the delayed renewal of the teacher's certificate.

The decision noted the teacher did not "diligently pursue the required Ferris State University transcripts" to the MDE.

The $5,362.16 State Aid penalty against the Bay City Academy was upheld in an August 7, 2020 decision issued by the Michigan Department of Education.

In the decision, the MDE "acknowledge and appreciate that Bay City Academy had taken steps to ensure that such an oversight will not recur."

Except when it's done by the purported, double-dipping "Superintendent".