Jan 28, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders during Media Day for Super Bowl XLIII at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Charter school co-founded by Deion Sanders facing closure

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Prime Prep Academy, a charter school co-founded by former NFL and MLB star Deion Sanders, is facing closure “for improper financial management and not complying with state education code,” reports Tawnell D. Hobbs of the Dallas Morning News.

Uplift Fort Worth, the parent organization that runs Prime Prep’s two campuses in Dallas and Fort Worth, received a letter of intent Tuesday from the Texas Education Agency informing the group of its plan. The school had an exciting start in 2012 with the backing of Sanders, a legend in the Dallas area, but has “had problems in almost every area.”

The organization has a July 30 deadline to appeal the recommendation and request a hearing, but otherwise the school’s charter will be revoked. Hobbs reports that Prime Prep superintendent Ron Price said he would appeal the decision by the state agency, while Sanders went to Twitter to point blame at the school’s co-founder, D.L. Wallace:

According to Hobbs, the Texas Department of Agriculture sent a letter to Price “saying that Prime Prep had until May 12 to repay $45,830.92 it received for providing subsidized meals in fall 2013.” It claimed that the school failed to provide proper documentation that the meals were actually served despite filing claims to receive the money.

As of April, nearly 500 students were enrolled at Prime Prep’s two campuses, with more than half of those students on programs for free or reduced-price meals. That month, the department of agriculture cut its meal program agreement with the school, Hobbs reports, preventing it from participating in subsidized meal programs.

It’s unclear where things go from here, but it continues a chaotic time for the school since its opening roughly two years ago. Top basketball recruits from Prime Prep include Jordan Mickey (LSU) and Karviar Shepherd (TCU) of the 2013 class, and Emmanuel Mudiay of the 2014 class.

Mickey and Shepherd battled eligibility issues with the NCAA early on last year as a result of their associations with Prime Prep, while rumors of eligibility issues also followed Mudiay before he announced this week that he was going pro overseas instead of spending a year in college.

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