Sep 24, 2009 8:43 PM by Andy Koen

Teachers given ultimatum: sign letter or leave

The teachers and staff of the GOAL Academy, an online charter school created under the Cesar Chavez Academy Network, were apparently asked to write and sign "loyalty letters" to network founder and CEO Dr. Lawrence Hernandez or be fired.

According to Eric Hall, the attorney for the GOAL Academy's charter board, the school's staff were all ordered by Hernandez this week to draft and sign the letters as a condition of their employment.

The letters "said that, you have to be loyal to Dr. Hernandez or else we'll consider your employment, we'll consider it that you have resigned employment which then again many of these teacher took offense to," Hall said.

On Monday, two GOAL Academy employees were indeed fired under accusations that they destroyed school records. 

Also Monday, the locks were changed on all of the school offices in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, preventing the roughly 5000 students enrolled at teh academy from attending classes for upto three days.  This new information contradicts what News First 5 was told earlier this week.

Dr. Hernandez signed the lease for the GOAL Academy's Colorado Springs location, but the board says it now controls the school.  Woody Longmire, the landlord for the space says he's unsure who to trust with access to the building.

Like all Chavez schools, the GOAL Academy was created under the network which was chartered through the state.  However, the state chartering authority recently required each school in the network be individually chartered.

In August, Dr. Hernandez signed a memorandum of understanding stating that the GOAL Academy would become an independent charter school.

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