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Amy O’Rourke’s Charter School Dropped Two Grade Levels That It Still Advertises

March 24, 2019

In listening to a news report on presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s wife, Amy Sanders O’Rourke, I caught a quick mention of her having started a charter school in El Paso, Texas.

La Fe Preparatory School is the name. O’Rourke drafted the application in December 2006.

According to the La Fe Prep website, the school serves grades K-8. However, it seems that the site is not up-to date; the downloadable application is for the 2017-18 school year, and the latest news on the school, this KFOX14 news report dated July 24, 2018, indicates that La Fe Prep dropped grades 7 and 8 “according to parents”:

La Fe Preparatory School is downsizing, according to parents. They tell us they had been hearing rumors and finally got it confirmed.

“We were hearing rumors they weren’t sure there was going to be middle school. But we weren’t 100% sure yet,” Katherine Juarez, a parent at the school, said. “So just in case I went ahead and I put her in a different middle school.”

Juarez already enrolled her daughter into public school to be prepared for the changes.

KFOX14 reached out multiple times to the school’s public information officer to find out why the school was downsizing but never heard back.

The La Fe Prep website includes no mention of Amy O’Rourke as principal, though she is listed as principal in this Texas Tribune school search engine. (Note that data is from the 2016-17 school year.)

La Fe Prep still lists 7th/8th grade teachers on its staff page. Interestingly, no admin are listed, and no admin page is included on the La Fe Prep site.

As for O’Rourke: She is currently listed as “choose to excel director” for the El Paso nonprofit, CREEED. Her CREEED bio offers no indication of exactly when O’Rourke left La Fe Prep.

On the La Fe Prep website’s “parents” page, a link for 2018-19 school supplies supposedly for grades K-8 leads to an outdated, 2017-18 link.

Not only is there no mention of La Fe Prep being reduced to grades K-6; the “2018-19” supply link states that it is for “PK-7th/8th Grades.”

However, according to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) August 20, 2018, listing of Texas charter schools, La Fe Prep has indeed cut grades 7 and 8 for the 2018-19 school year; the school is listed as serving grades K-6 (see page 50).

Nevertheless, the La Fe Prep website has not been updated to reflect this fact– which means that the website is presenting El Paso parents with misleading information.

Good thing El Paso parents have a public school district to turn to.

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Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

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