Alabama Education Association lawsuit against Washington County charter school

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Alabama Education Association (AEA) filed a lawsuit against controversial charter school Woodland Prep in Washington County.

The lawsuit claims the company who runs the charter Soner Tarim “engaged in fraudulent conduct to conceal the extent of his involvement with the non-profit organization behind the school,” and “misrepresented the level of community support for the school and is illegally advertising in Mississippi in order to try and attract enough students to be able to open the school.”

The school was supposed to open this year. It was delayed because the school is unfinished and there are not enough students.

Read statements from the AEA below:

AEA President Sherry Tucker said, “AEA has made clear we’re not against all charter schools, but we are against bad charter schools. AEA has been and will continue to work cooperatively with charter schools organized by true non-profits led by educators with the goal of increasing opportunities for Alabama’s children. At the same time, AEA will continue the fight against those who would divert funds from Alabama’s public schools to out-of-state business interests.”

Theron Stokes, AEA Associate Executive Director, added “Based upon the reports we have received, it is clear that the group who applied for a charter school application for Woodland Prep is nothing but a
front for Tarim. He got a taste for Alabama taxpayer money through LEAD Academy in Montgomery and has decided he wants to franchise corporate charter schools. But, the citizens of Washington County have risen up to fight the diversion of funds from a school system that, despite the odds, is thriving and succeeding. That is why contractors walked off the construction site, why he’s advertising in Mississippi to
get students, and why we are taking this step – to support our members and our local association in their
fight.”

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