The reason why Prime Prep is closing is downright stunning because of how simple it should have been to avoid.
As reported by Dallas-Fort Worth ABC and Gannett affiliate WFAA, Texas state officials moved to revoke the charter for an educational organization called Uplift Fort Worth, which serves as the parent company for the Deion Sanders-founded and led Prime Prep Academy. Without a recertification of Uplift, Prime Prep will be forced to close after just two years on the Texas charter school scene.
That Prime Prep is being closed may not be the most shocking news flash since the school has practically courted controversy since it was co-founded by Sanders. Instead, it’s the fact that the school’s food services have led to its impending shuttering that has turned heads.
WFAA was told told, that the revocation of federal school lunch program monies which were allegedly misspent.
According to the Texas Department of Agriculture’s filings, Prime Prep was warned in both 2012 and 2014 about deficiencies with the school lunch program.
Given that Prime Prep was marketed from the outset as a charter school to be an athletic powerhouse, cutting corners on school food seems like a poor policy, to put it mildly.
After additional financial irregularities were reported, the state apparently decided enough was enough.
For his part, Sanders responded to the news swiftly via Twitter:
“My former Co-Founder DL Wallace was a Crook and Heartless and we are still suffering from his Devilish ways. TEA informed PrimePrep they would revoke the charter pending appeal for the Food Program that Wallace hustled the state out of $45,000. We will appeal immediately,” Sanders said in a series of tweets on Tuesday evening. “I feel bad for this nonsense of yesterday affecting today and the potential of tomorrow for our students and NEW administration. We will fight this like we have all the other battles that we’ve faced. 100% graduation rate 2 years straight and 15 scholarships awarded in only 2 years of existence. In no form or fashion has me or my administration done any wrong regarding feeding or educating our students. TRUTH. I will pay the 45,000 myself to right DL Wallace wrong to the state if they will accept it. Don’t punish our kids for this Fool. Truth”
Despite Sanders’ insistence that he and the current Prime Prep administration are on the up-and-up, there remain questions about the school’s most transcendent athletic star to date. Just a day earlier, recently graduated Prime Prep basketball star Emmanuel Mudiay announced that he would forego his scheduled college career at SMU to play professionally in Asia. Almost immediately thereafter, national news outlets noted that the NCAA was investigating Mudiay and Prime Prep relative to concerns about the point guard’s amateur status prior to his announcement to go pro.
That neither amateurism problems or power struggles between Sanders and his co-founder D.L. Wallace proved the crushing blow to the school is fairly remarkable. Now everyone gets to see if Sanders’ efforts in school reform can work as fast as his footwork in the defensive secondary.