The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a penalty by the state Department of Education against an Inver Grove Heights charter school for employing unlicensed teachers.
In an opinion released today, the appellate court stated Education Commissioner Alice Seagren complied with state law requirements to penalize the public charter Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy — and therefore had the authority to issue the $140,000 fine.
The appellate court also stated the school, known as TiZA, had a reasonable deadline to comply with state licensure requirements. In addition, the state department gave TiZA a fair hearing, and the commissioner did not abuse her power when issuing the fine.
Last November, Seagren determined that the school employed eight teachers with invalid licenses or permits. The department later suspended the school's Federal Charter Schools Program Dissemination Grant, which TiZA received in March 2009.
The two-year grant was for the charter to train other schools on how to implement its strategies. TiZA, which also has a campus in Blaine, reapplied last December for the grant and removed its English Language Learners program from the application.
The school's ELL program is where the teacher licensure violations occurred.
In January, the department reinstated the $375,000 grant.