MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – After two years of financial uncertainty and funding problems, the Amani Public Charter School in Mount Vernon finally looks to be on its way to stability.
According to the Northeast Charter Schools Network, an advocacy organization for New York and Connecticut charter schools, the Mount Vernon Board of Education has been in a legal battle with Amani in since its opening in August 2011.
Last month, Amani and the Mount Vernon Board of Education settled in court, with the board agreeing to pay the charter school all of the money it is owed both this year and moving forward. The Board of Education made its first payment on July 26.
Due to the delay in payment, Amani has been forced at times to borrow money to pay teacher and administrator salaries while waiting on the state for funds. CJ Macklin, with the Northeast Charter Schools Network, added that it also left the school in a constant state of uncertainty about its legal and financial well being.
During the two years, Mount Vernon has not paid its per-pupil state and federal aid that would be required to send to Amani under state law. This has forced the school to wait several months for the state to pay the aid directly to the charter school.
According to Macklin, the latest victory in court looks to put Amani on the path to stability.
“As more charters are expanding into areas where they did not previously exist, we are seeing certain districts across the country taking extreme measures to stop charter progress and do everything they can to shut them down,” he said. “Amani is an example of a school doing what it had to do in order to survive and won.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.