JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Clay County Superintendent, Charlie Van Zant, is facing allegations of multiple unethical and possibly illegal acts just four weeks before he is set to be on the ballot.
The full-scale investigation of Van Zant is being called by District 1 School Board Member, Janice Kerekes. Kerekes received a letter from Dr. Susan Sailor, the former principle of Keystone Heights High school and former Florida Teacher of the Year.
Sailor accused Van Zant of knowing that students were being falsely labeled as being part of the Exceptional Student Education program, a program for students with learning disabilities.
According to Kerekes, fraudulently skewing these numbers could be both a state and federal offense. “When students are labeled ESE they no longer count against our graduation rate and the district receives increased funding,” she said.
Sailor’s letter also accused Van Zant of instructing Dr. Sailor and other staff members to write a thesis paper. The paper was to be used toward the completion of his Master’s Degree last year at Regent University in Virginia online. Van Zant had stated before that he had completed his Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from the same school online.
Sailor said she felt strongly the paper was for college use because Van Zant had given her a copy of another paper to “model it by” and also gave her four to five text books from his college class in communications to use in writing the paper.
Kerekes has been a critic of Van Zant in the past. She is asking for an item to be placed on the school board’s agenda on August 18 to launch an investigation into the letter’s allegations.
This comes at a bad time for Van Zant as he faces an August 30 primary against veteran Duval County School administrator, Addison Davis. The winner of the primary faces an independent and writes in candidate in November.
Van Zant has denied all allegations against him in a recent Facebook video. He argues that it is his liberal opponent in the race for Superintendent that is behind it. Watch the video, taken from Charlie Van Zant’s facebook, below: