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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.


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".


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