Barr promptly dismissed the entire staff, forcing them to reapply for their jobs. Over 70 percent were not rehired.
Acc. To the Green Dot website, he is no longer on staff either.Barr stepped aside this fall as board chairman of Green Dot but remains on the board and on staff. The expense problem had nothing to do with Barr's change of role, said Shane Martin, who replaced Barr as chairman.
Green Dot charter schools founder repays group $50,866
The nonprofit's tax return shows that Steve Barr repaid the organization after an internal review found that expenses he had charged were undocumented or unjustified.
Green Dot: An article in Wednesday's Section A about Green Dot Public Schools founder Steve Barr repaying his charter school organization more than $50,000 in expenses said the issue had surfaced in a post by education blogger Alexander Russo. Another blogger, Ken Libby, had previously posted about Barr's repayment. —
Barr stepped aside this fall as board chairman of Green Dot but remains on the board and on staff. The expense problem had nothing to do with Barr's change of role, said Shane Martin, who replaced Barr as chairman.
Martin said Tuesday that the expenses came to light in an internal review as the rapidly growing nonprofit transitioned from Barr's ad hoc creation to a nonprofit run according to proper accounting standards.
The disallowed costs related to missing receipts and "isolated instances of expenses that were more extravagant than they needed to be for a nonprofit," such as lodging at higher-grade hotels, said Martin, who also heads the school of education at Loyola Marymount University.
"We caught this internally and took decisive action," he said. "Everyone cooperated fully."
Barr's education work has attracted significant notice because of Green Dot's July 2008 takeover of long-struggling Locke High in South Los Angeles. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has cited Green Dot's approach as one model for the essential turnaround of the nation's high school "dropout factories."
Green Dot's internal review has local implications because the Los Angeles Unified School District is poised to turn over as many as 30 campuses to outside bidders, including Green Dot and other charter organizations. Charters are publicly funded, independently managed schools that are free from some regulations that govern traditional schools.
Martin initially cited attorney-client privilege in saying that Green Dot would not release an audit of Barr's expenses because it was conducted by a law firm. He later said Green Dot would consider releasing it.