HCLA founder vows to fight

Published 10:44 am Thursday, October 12, 2017

WINDSOR – Speaking with what appeared to be measured emotion, Heritage Collegiate Leadership Academy (HCLA) founder and Principal Dr. Kashi Bazemore Hall vowed to fight the recommendation of the Charter School Advisory Board (CSAB) of the revocation of the school’s charter.

While the News-Herald reached out to contact Dr. Hall in person for her reaction to the CSAB’s action, she did not respond, but did post a lengthy message on Bertie County’s only charter school’s Facebook page.

Deemed a “low-performing” school by the state in 2015, a year after it first opened its doors, HCLA gained a reprieve from an earlier “death penalty” recommendation when the CSAB met last June 13.

The charter school had been told four months ago to “get its house in order”.

Following a presentation and questioning of school representatives at the June meeting, CSAB members were so dismayed at the state of the school’s finances, among other issues, that they considered revoking the school’s license on the spot. But that motion failed by a 6-to-4 vote.

CSAB did vote 9-to-1 to allow the school to keep operating into 2018 with a set of stipulations which, if not met, would lead to initiation of revocation of the school’s charter by December.

However, with Monday’s news, Hall posted that she is ready to extend to great lengths, and one might assume, resources as well, to keep the enterprise open.

“I’ve reached out to NC elected officials to request an inquiry into everything associated with this case,” she wrote. “Tomorrow (Oct. 10), I will follow up with the Office of Civil Rights, State Superintendent and our Lieutenant Governor to request an inquiry on the failure to give us due process since we have not been afforded it to date.”

Hall went on in the missive to state she scheduled a meeting on Oct. 11 at the Cashie-Heritage Convention Center on County Farm Road in Windsor, where she stated she would, “share a full history of this situation along with a strategic plan for ensuring that your voices are heard.”

Hall’s post went on to list her accomplishments in education, but says her faith in the administrative process has been damped due to what she feels is the school’s inability to receive due process.

She went on to write that, “as a Minority-Led Charter School, we were disregarded before we opened our mouths.”

Wednesday, Hall had a new post on HCLA’s Facebook page, again requesting parents, staff, and supporters’ attendance at an Oct. 11 meeting and stating the gathering would be a “transparent overview”.

Included among the points Hall planned to cover:

The revocation recommendation was made without a visit to the school, which Hall maintains is required.

The CSAB did not allow HCLA adequate due process, and allegedly had a plan of action in place before the school’s Monday appearance before the board.

Local people are working with the state to close the school.

Hall also planned to reveal Bertie County Schools’ history of cheating on state achievement tests, and planned to provide evidence that HCLA complied with 100 percent of the stipulations received from CSAB to avoid charter revocation.

Additionally, she maintains that HCLA enacted 100 percent of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s recommendations.

“You all need to really pay attention,” Hall writes. “As a taxpayer, I’m appalled that this is happening, and I will fight. I’m so thankful for all who have vowed to join me as we stand up to this adult form of bullying.”