Thackston board to hold 11th hour meeting to approve audits

Junior Gonzalez
York Dispatch

Helen Thackston Charter School’s chance to fulfill a crucial deadline under a dissolution agreement is in trouble, as the school’s board failed to receive three years of completed audits to approve during its last regular meeting before its due date.

Helen Thackston Charter School, 625 E. Philadelphia St., York. Amanda J. Cain photo

A board item to approve audits for the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years was pulled from the Thursday, Jan. 25, agenda earlier in the day, according to CEO Carlos Lopez, who said they remain incomplete.

Board members will now meet in a special meeting Tuesday, Jan. 30, in anticipation of completed audits, according to Lopez.

If they are completed and approved, Lopez said he will deliver the documents in person to York City School District administrators Wednesday morning, which is the deadline day.

The audits are a crucial missing piece from a closure agreement reached by the York City and Thackston boards last October to avoid lengthy revocation hearings focused on Thackston’s performance and keep the school open until June 2019.

A stipulation in the agreement states that if Thackston fails to complete and approve the three years of overdue audits by Jan. 31, the school must surrender its charter and close at the end of the current school year.

Board members Frank Hawkins and Nacole Gaines said they were both confident that the audits would be completed and ready for their approval Tuesday.

Hawkins said the audits have been in the works for years, so auditing firm St. Clair CPA Solutions should be wrapping up soon.

York City school board President Margie Orr has said she is not in favor of extending Thackston's deadline.

"These are audits (Thackston) should have completed years ago," she said in a telephone interview Jan. 22.

She called the failure to complete and approve audits "unconscionable" and said the deadline for their completion and submission remains Jan. 31.

After Thursday's meeting, Lopez said the special meeting on Tuesday will be Thackston's last hope to stay open for another school year.

"Otherwise, that's it," he said.

The meeting: Thackston's board will hold a special meeting to approve three years of audits at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the school's conference room on the school's campus at 625 E. Philadelphia St.