Steve Van Zant

EAST COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS AMONG 11 INDICTED IN CHARTER SCHOOL FRAUD SCHEME

By Miriam Raftery

May 30, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan yesterday announced indictments against 11 individuals in a statewide charter school scheme that stole over $50 million in public funds.  Those indicted include Nancy Hauer, superintendent of the Dehesa Elementary School District in El Cajon, and Steve Van Zant, former superintendent of the Mountain Empire Unified School District that services Descanso, Pine Valley, Potrero and Campo.

The ringleaders, Sean McManus and Jason Schrock, CEO and president of A3 Education, sought out small school district with limited oversight experience and proposed that they authorize online charter schools to earn oversight fees paid for through public funds, according to the 253-page indictment handed down by a grand jury investigation May 17th after a year-long investigation that involved interviewing over 70 witnesses.

FORMER SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT VAN ZANT FACING FELONY CONFLICT OF INTEREST CHARGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Steve Van Zant, former superintendent of Mountain Empire Unified School District, was arraigned today in San Diego Superior Court on a felony conflict of interest charge, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports

While serving as Superintendent of Mountain Empire, Van Zant pushed through charter schools to operate in other school districts---while profiting by having some of those same charters hire his consulting firm, EdHive Inc.

RURAL PARENTS SAY PRINCIPAL EXCHANGE WILL HURT LOCAL SCHOOLS AND SPANISH-SPEAKING STUDENTS

 

By Billie Jo Jannen
For East County Magazine

 

September 22, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- The principals of Campo and Potrero elementary schools in Mountain Empire Unified School District were reassigned by the superintendent without warning on Sept. 9; shocked parents were issued hasty letters of explanation five days later.

 

Campo Principal Diane Yops was informed that she was being removed. A janitor was dispatched to collect her keys and, in the presence of parents and staff members, moved her office items to Potrero Elementary. There, the non-Spanish speaking educator will supervise a student body that is mostly made up of native Spanish speakers. Witnesses said she was forbidden to speak to anyone at the time of her removal.