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After Hiring Ex-Convict, Charter Can't Reopen

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Texas officials last week rejected a Dallas charter school's appeal to reopen after it failed to run proper criminal background checks on teachers and staff.

Children First Academy leaders said at a hearing that they were now complying with state laws. But Robert Duron, a deputy commissioner with the Texas Education Agency, rejected the plea. His ruling cited the school's "very troubling" failure to comply sooner.

The charter school, which had 900 students last year in Dallas and Houston, has been closed since Sept. 9.

Tony Diaz, the lawyer representing Children First Academy, said the school will continue to pursue options "to right what we perceive to be a wrong."

The failure to perform background checks allowed a man convicted of child endangerment to work with children, the state found. Several others who worked at the school had pending charges of serious crimes, including sexual assault of a child, according to state education officials.

Vol. 33, Issue 05, Page 4

Published in Print: September 25, 2013, as After Hiring Ex-Convict, Charter Can't Reopen
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