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UPDATED: FSA Can Make Payments on Construction Bond

Fulton Science Academy's Angela Lassetter says Wells Fargo's demand is in attorneys' hands now. A payment agreement, new investor or selling the land for the proposed building are some possible solutions.

UPDATE June 28, 5:30 p.m.: Fulton Science Academy Board of Governors member Angela Lassetter said today the schools can pay back the $18.9 million in bonds.

Lassetter spoke about FSA's future as a private school, a school system audit report and her school's investigation and response to that report in an interview this afternoon.

Wells Fargo Bank, the bond investor, sent out a "Notice of Acceleration" on June 25 by certified mail to the Development Authority and the three schools involved: Fulton Science Academy (middle school), Fulton Sunshine Academy (elementary school) and Fulton Educational Services (Fulton Science Academy High School).

The bank's notice, sent by Virginia Anne Housum, a vice president for Wells Fargo, said the borrowers have breached the loan agreement, which puts the schools in default. The trustee demanded immediate payment of the $18.9 million bonds and interest by June 27.

Lassetter said the issue is in the hands of legal counsel now. She said several solutions are possible:

  • An agreement could be made with the investors over the bonds that may not include the soon-to-be private school.
  • FSA could sell the land on Fanfare Way intended for the new building planned for construction with the bond issue. Lassetter said the 44 acres is worth two to three times the almost $6 million of bond money that's been spent on grading, bond attorneys and design. Grading the land has prepared it for construction, making it a more valuable property, she said.
  • An investor could buy the property and still build a school on it, leasing it to FSA and the others schools for use.
  • Or another investor might come along and buy the bonds, setting up a repayment agreement with FSA and its partner schools–Fulton Sunshine Academy and Fulton Science Academy High School. This last solution would be ideal, because the school could still be built, she said.

"Part of the bond agreement required that we get a charter," Lassetter said. Local and state charter denial put the school in default.

Although the Alpharetta Development Authority approved the bond sale, this demand has no affect on the city.

"With respect to the Development Authority, a move by the investors to call the bonds has absolutely no impact on that body, the City, or our citizens.  By law the debt on the bonds is not an obligation of any of these parties and is solely the responsibility of the FSA schools," said James Drinkard, Alpharetta assistant city administrator.

He doesn't expect any changes in how the Development Authority proceeds with future bond applications. It's the responsibility of the involved underwriters and banks as well as the rating agency(s) that rate the issue to perform due diligence on the bond applicant. The Development Authority's due diligence is limited to is limited to ensuring that the intended use of the bonds is consistent with what's allowed under law and that it advances the economic development goals of the community, he said.

during mid-May and now bondbuyers are asking for the bond to be paid back. The school had .

The demand comes after months of complications for, which failed to get either a or a .

In the May BusinessWire release, Fitch said that lack of management cooperation left it unable to determine if the was feasible and its possible effects on the Fulton Sunshine Academy and . All three schools are obligated for the bonds.

Check back with Patch for updates to this story soon.

For related stories, see:

Roswell Parent June 28, 2012 at 02:29 AM
If the charter for this school (#1 middle school in Fulton County) had been renewed, all of these investors would be repaid. The fault for this lies directly on the Fulton County School Board.
MarkMunoz June 28, 2012 at 09:13 AM
Roswell Parent; The fault lies with the people operating the school and their fake Grace Institute. If you would have been honest and forthright none of this would have happen. Now the question is will the few remaining loyalist American parents finally wise up about this group and their usual predictable lies? Lets see if the loan is paid back or if the Gulenists will take a midnight 1 way flight to Ankara with all of that money for private school tuition. Maybe this group may become transparent and accountable and actually turn this around. The only way is to be truthful. Otherwise expect more.
Grace June 28, 2012 at 01:22 PM
My tax dollars purchased the furniture, electronics, books, supplies, etc. that are contained within the walls of FSA. When are they going to return what rightfully belongs to Fulton County Schools? Do they expect to furnish their new private school with publicly owned property? Moving beyond Grace Institute and the shadow of Gulen, let's keep the discussion focused on the finances. Fulton County Schools property needs to be returned to Fulton County Schools. It should not be stolen by a private school or sold to them at pennies on the dollar. My tax dollars provided Fulton County Schools with the money used to purchase these items for a Fulton County Schools Charter School NOT for a private school, no matter what religious ties they do or do not have. Give Fulton County Schools back the furniture, electronics, books, supplies, etc. that they paid for, and we can all go our own way in peace. Otherwise, this divorce is going to get messy and the only winners will be the lawyers.
MarkMunoz June 28, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Grace; I agree with you, but frankly I bring up the Gulen Movement in the context of a CULT not a religion. Its ideology is all about social, political and commerce domination. They are not "religious" in the normal sense but more like a Scientology based group. Agreed, they should auction off the supplies, furniture purchased by the taxpayers of Fulton County Schools. They need to snap out of denial and take responsibility for their action, otherwise they slip further downhill. No one wants them. They will pay legal fees with FCS money, they would be a disaster in court with all of the discovery that is requested. They are emotionally crippled when they have to give up documents or other secrets. At some of their schools there have been cases of theft? and small arson like gas leaks. They might find their way out of this $18 million mess after all.
Tired of taxes June 28, 2012 at 03:07 PM
"The fault for this lies directly on the Fulton County School Board." The same Fulton Co. school board who offered FSAMS a three year charter? How so? Because they didn't give in to FSAMS' demand (yes, demand) for a ten year charter instead? Or because they didn't give in to the demand for a blanket waiver? Or because they still fail to grasp that their proper position is prostrate, at the feet of FSA's leaders? Investors take risks. Period. That's why they get a return on their money when things go well.
Terry June 28, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Actually, Tired of Taxes, the County CANNOT offer a 3 year charter. 3 years is punitive and can only be asked for by the school. 5 years is a standard renewal, but FCSB said they would not accept anything other than a 3 year renewal without waivers (which is also standard for charter schools and is essentially what charter schools are about - being able to function independantly in exchange for higher performance). The 10 years was earned by the consistent higher performance, and the reason was to make the school more stable financially as it looked to provide a better campus for its student population. Compare the amount of the bond FSA got for its campus to the cost to taxpayers for the new Milton HS campus and the 2-3 other new schools in N. Fulton and it is obvious that FSA was a better steward of tax money than the County is...
Terry June 28, 2012 at 05:34 PM
The County has already taken back the items that were paid for by taxpayer money. The only items left are those that were donated to the school (which therefore are not County property). The PS is already in the process of purchasing some new furniture, but other schools have already contributed desks, etc.
Terry June 28, 2012 at 05:47 PM
"Mark" - your personal crusade against the Gulen Movement is well documented on message boards, but ironically, all you ever do is make comments without backing anything up with definitive proof. Your circular logic used to connect schools to the movement without showing any actual financial proof that the school is funded by them or has been in direct communication with them only makes you look even more ridiculous. Hate rhetoric isn't proof, saying that people who work there believe in Gulen's teachings isn't proof. If I were a Scientologist and wanted to run a publically funded school, there is no law or ethics preventing me from doing so - as a matter of fact, there are laws to protect whatever my personal beliefs may be. There is no promotion of the Gulen thoughts/ideals in the school, and I KNOW you have no proof that says otherwise. Baseless accusations like the ones you throw around mean nothing. Neither does anything raised from the "audit" by FCSS - read the response by an independent auditor on this link. http://roswell.patch.com/​articles/​fulton-science-academys-probe-d​isputes-school-systems-audit-r​eport Take your personal quest (or the quest of the people paying you to write on these blogs) elsewhere and quit insulting the intelligence of people who actually know how to form a logical argument.
MarkMunoz June 28, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Dear Terry; No it is very clear who has the pretzel logic of blaming everyone but the culprits of this defaulted loan and other financial mismanagements. You can choose to continue to blame and be unaccountable but the truth is out there specifically with your very clear audit, yet you are the ones that continue to generically deny or create other silly straw man arguments glossing over your 10 years of unprofessionalism and bad business practices. There is no hate anywhere show me, quote me. Several times I have given you helpful directives to regain your reputation and continue on as a private school but you are caught in a zone of denalism that no one trusts including the bank. Proof? There is 10 years of proof since you opened your doors at FSA with your prior principal and unethical dealings with finances. If you think it is acceptable business practices to purchase over $80,000 in h1-b Visas for family members of these uncredentialed teachers (who many only stayed a short time) you would have to explain in your twisted logic how that benefits the community not YOU. Unfortunately your lack of specifics and "throwing around of baseless argumentation and generic statements' are what got you into this terrible predicment of no public school, defaulted loan, possible shuttering of your other schools and other attention you have brought upon YOURSELVES. I don't care about Gulen, but most of us care about the lengths you go to deny your affiliations.
MarkMunoz June 28, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Terry; When have I or anyone else mentioned that Gulen finances this school? On the contrary, it is Gulen's followers that finance the Gulen Movement's $26 billion empire such as where is the $500K for billed services to Grace Institute, just one of the many Gulenist operated front groups that layer these schools. It is so obvious even Ray Charles could have seen it. But all that matters is that Federal Investigators, State Investigators and professional forensics auditors see it. Now you are in a situation what is your resolution? To continue lying? To play victim? To pay back the loan and explain all the financial mismanagment? To come clean as Dr. Joshua Hendrick has asked you to? To go to start being honest and regain the confidence of the community? What? What will you do? More of the same? Then you will continue to get the same results.
MarkMunoz June 28, 2012 at 06:30 PM
You dispute the audit report with a generic statement. There is no specifics of why or how you think this professionally done audit was incorrect. Only more rhetoric about the timelines and reason for the audit. All of that is small potatoes and insignificant. What is important is that you can refute or substantiate each claim with back up support documented. Not just a flimsy statement that "you don't agree with the findings" It's not enough, ask your attorneys they will tell you this. Your problem is, you got cocky with your self-named awards and marketing, Public Relations and advertising of some sort of stellar school. You thought you didn't have to answer to anyone. Think again my friend. You have 2 other schools to answer about and the bigger question is Wells FArgo and your DEFAULTED LOAN.
MarkMunoz June 28, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Terry thanks for clarifying that the county has already removed their property. It is only the right thing to do returning property to rightful owners as well as paying back the defaulted loan and assuming your debt responsibility as well.
Terry June 28, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Oh you don't? remember the comments posted on this blog? http://alpharetta.patch.com/articles/fulton-science-academy-ms-audit-reveals-many-problems#comments_list You can delete them if you'd like, but I've screen printed them in case you do. I hardly think that comments like these aren't motivated by a severe dislike (since you don't like the word hate) of the movement: "MarkMunoz 3:03 pm on Saturday, June 9, 2012 Smartie; Your schools still is DENIED it's charter and will be CLOSED. FSA will be a distant memory and 1 month from now no one will care (yawn)" and "Georgia has spoken they are not interested in these rejects from Turkey. Even their leader had to flee for a good reason. Now that you have blamed everyone for your school closing next you will start your conspiracy theories that the editor here must be in on it and is a part of some Greek resistance."
Terry June 28, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I hardly call the response done to the FCSS audit is a silly straw argument - have you even bothered to read it? It was done by an independant auditor and one who actually followed GAAS (the procedures that auditors are supposed to use that the first auditors BY ADMISSION did not). I put the link to it above - maybe you should read it before making statements that have no weight. Even the issue of visas is addressed in there - FCSS spent $3.5 million dollars doing the same thing. It is standard practice and they employ it a whole lot more than we do (and not just for teachers - about 60-70% were for bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and other positions).
MarkMunoz June 28, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Terry; I am truly sorry if you took offense to a remark that was not intended to be derogatory but rather enlivening and enlightening the conversation. You can "take screen shots" all you want, I am not the one that is under the microscope it is YOU. COMMENT: and "Georgia has spoken they are not interested in these rejects from Turkey. Even their leader had to flee for a good reason. Now that you have blamed everyone for your school closing next you will start your conspiracy theories that the editor here must be in on it and is a part of some Greek resistance." What is wrong with this comment? It has been reported that many of the imported teachers cannot be understood, don't show up in the classrooms but instead are working at the many Gulen Front groups (on tax payer's money) This was a statement to show you how stupid and paranoid your conspiracy theories are. I guess I was right you areally are paranoid. Seriously, where have I not be helpful in suggestions for you to address the AUDIT SPECIFICALLY
Terry June 28, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Another comment by you - sounds to me like you're really happy that AMERICAN teachers and AMERICAN students lost their high performing school: "MarkMunoz 8:15 am on Saturday, June 9, 2012 Look at the scandal, financial mismanagement paying for immigrant fees, etc., at your sister schools in Ohio (Horizon Science Academy) the "other" blue ribbon school (snicker giggles)"
Terry June 28, 2012 at 07:28 PM
The school was financed by public funds - not even the audit the County did proves otherwise. Again, baseless accusation without proof.
MarkMunoz June 28, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Terry; Yes it is straw argument, it is generic responses that are not specifically addressing your financial professional shortcommings like why you paid $500K to Grace Institute, etc., Secondly, how is getting paranoid and attacking tax payers going to bring your school back? We give you helpful points to make so you can retain your reputation and private school................and you keep degressing to the old "victim" "attackers" and other off topic subjects. Address the specific issues, it may help you to survive.
Terry June 28, 2012 at 07:32 PM
I didn't dispute it with a generic statement - again, have you even bothered to click the link above and look at the independant audit that examines the work done by the County's audit? The loan was in default b/c one of the contingencies was that the charter be approved, which it was not. That is due to FCSB shutting down the school, not indiscretions by the school. Only $6 million of the bond was spent and that was on land that can be sold to pay off the debt. Since the land was in foreclosure and was bought cheaply, it can be sold for FMV and still cover any financial debt.
Terry June 28, 2012 at 07:34 PM
And yet another comment where you deride others: "MarkMunoz 6:27 pm on Sunday, June 10, 2012 Smartie; Your problem is you think you are smart and you are not. Just more crazy talk from Hizmet, you are losing your schools because you are stupid."
MarkMunoz June 28, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Terry; Sorry you are taking offense to taxpayers asking you for accountablility if you are offended by the remark i am truly sorry. I was only meant to point out your paranoia and conspiracy theories and glossing over SPECIFICS. Your arguments are weak and ill structured, we are trying to help you address what is important but alas it is too late. You can screen shot all the comments you want, I care less. Again, how is that going to help you become more honest and ADDRESS these shortcommings? How? Here is the comment: and "Georgia has spoken they are not interested in these rejects from Turkey. Even their leader had to flee for a good reason. Now that you have blamed everyone for your school closing next you will start your conspiracy theories that the editor here must be in on it and is a part of some Greek resistance." I stand by the comment and many of your teachers from Turkey and the USA are unqualified, undiscernable, lack training (excpet to a specific Turkocentric model) and are known to give easy grades. Not to mention they get a check from taxpayers while they work in the Gulen front groups promoting Gulen and Turkey lobbying. I stand by my remarks...so what? You still lost your school because you refuse to adapt to American laws and accountability. Too bad, now you have to pay back the loan. So what will happen, are you going to get a loan from TUSKON, surely they can wire this to you. But it probably is not a wise profitable choice.
MarkMunoz June 28, 2012 at 07:39 PM
So Terry are you saying that we have no right to make comments about FSA? That only YOUR comments are permissable. Isn't having "DIALOGUE" about "TOLERANCE" for other's points of view and respecting different points? America is freedom of speech and we don't jail journalists or citizens that speak up or about a particular "group" if that disturbs you I would suggest you leave America. Shut up and pay back the loan, answer the charges and try to keep your schools. Keep doing what you are doing..........you get the same results.
Terry June 28, 2012 at 07:44 PM
To address your comment below, the teachers are qualified - they all had GEORGIA certification as was recently required of charter schools. Our test results speak for themselves - our teachers are great and to say otherwise just continues to make your arguments appear invalid. You can deride any accomplishments in competitions we've won, but we beat out other Fulton County schools in the process, so that at worst speaks to why our school was needed - others were lacking. Again, you can't say anything about our test scores - we beat FCSS on a nationally normed test in all 5 subjects for 4 years in a row. Also, what American laws are you saying we violated? Where is your proof? Read the audit response that addresses what the County audit says or you will continue to look foolish...
Terry June 28, 2012 at 07:47 PM
You say you have no hatreful comments but you can Turkish teachers "rejects"? And you want to know what is wrong with that comment. Face it, you don't like Turkish people, plain and simple...
Terry June 28, 2012 at 07:51 PM
When did I say you have no RIGHT to make comments? Now you're putting words in my mouth. I said, "Take your personal quest (or the quest of the people paying you to write on these blogs) elsewhere and quit insulting the intelligence of people who actually know how to form a logical argument." BIG difference...
Julie June 28, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Terry you are wasting your breath. Everyone who reads these blogs knows that "Mark"(whoever he/she really is) never addresses facts. I am sure that before this blog runs it's course "Mark" will keep posting the same gibberish. I am not sure what religious faith "Mark" professes to (if any), but I know it is not Christian (as I am) or Jewish as many of my friends are as our faith would not condone writing such as "his". Maybe one day "Mark" will become enlightened.
MarkMunoz June 29, 2012 at 12:46 AM
THere they go, having an emotional meltdown on the comment board. So lets say someone is paying me? (Paranoid much?) Who or whom would be paying me? To tell the truth and expose your flaky group (yes flaky and rejects) I woluld do it for free any day. Truth is the best defense but unfortunately your "group" Terry/ Julie whoever you are. I love the way you guys act like Jews, Hispanics, etc., Oh Julie I am very very enlighted especially about Hocaefendis "Pearls of Wisdom" and how your schools are patterned after this. All of your lip service is a waste of your time, it is your actions and behaviors that put you into your current situation. No amount of cruising comment boards, slamming online voting like "Great Schools" etc., will save you. If following a 5th grade educated Imam who is in self-imposed exile is being "enlightened" then our children really are in danger from your group. You shouldn't be allowed near children. Kudos to the majority of the parents who will NOT be returning next year - that is if you actually manage to open as a private school. Don't think your Bank who is going to be your new owner will allow it. So what are you guys plotting next? Going to sue the State of Georgia? Like Texas is doing to get more money? or the County Schools like your sister School in Mass. Chesapeak Point Academy? Go ahead you will really earn brownie points for further attacks on American governmental structures. Pay back the loan!!!
MarkMunoz June 29, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Roswell Parent; It's too bad you cannot move beyond the fact you were denied a charter (for good cause) You need to get over this and move on.
MarkMunoz June 29, 2012 at 12:59 AM
No Julie you guys are wasting your breath. Address the charges, correct the mistakes answer to the questions on questionable expenses. THe town may forgive you. Keep up the same behaviors and they will scorn you and your private school (if it opens) Don't be a bunch of deadbeats pay the money back.
MarkMunoz June 29, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Terry posted "Face it, you don't like Turkish people, plain and simple.." No I don't like liars and those that cannot assume accountability for their actions. I also don't like the arrogance of this group who believe Americans cannot function unless they have a Turkish ran education system because they know best what is right for us? Turkey? A country with 78 million population, 14 million are illiterate. They have over 2,000 a day dropping out of schools. Not to mention Turkey always performs below standard on the OCED Rankings. Above other 3rd world countries like Chile and Mexico. I love Turkey, especially at Thanksgiving. .

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