Sexual misconduct investigation forces charter school leader Tim King to be kicked out, sources say

A report from the Chicago Public Schools Inspector General confirming allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with a student forced Tim King, the lauded head of a major charter school network, to resign last week, officials said. sources at WBEZ.

King, who founded Urban Prep Academies, has been nationally celebrated for getting 100% of all-black male students from school to college. King developed an innovative program that inspired pride in black boys, who face some of CPS’s worst outcomes, and, among many awards, was named “Hero of the Year” by People magazine.

Sources familiar with the confidential report, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the Chicago Board of Education received the inspector general’s report in July.

The school district on Wednesday asked the charter school to notify parents of the investigation’s findings, but said charter school officials declined. The district sent a letter instead.

“Nothing is more important to Chicago Public Schools than the safety of students in our schools,” reads the CPS letter to parents. “Chicago Public Schools works with UPA [Urban Prep Academies] to ensure that all PAU students are safe and their rights are protected.

The letter, which does not name King, says district investigators substantiated the allegations on June 30.

“Based on interviews and documents, the IG office has concluded that the administrator engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old UPA student and engaged in misconduct. other faults involving the victim.”

The letter tells parents that the administrator is prohibited from having contact with Urban Prep students and is prohibited from entering any CPS facilities.

King had wanted to continue working to raise money for charter schools with the Urban Prep Foundation, he told WBEZ on Monday. But the CPS forbids her any connection to the charter school and places a “do not hire” on her file.

According to sources, the Inspector General’s report said King had ‘nurtured’ a student, starting at the age of 16. The sources said the report documented years of alleged inappropriate sexual activity. King also provided financial support for the student after graduation, the sources said. WBEZ has not seen the report.

Through his attorney, King has denied all allegations.

“It is a sad day in Chicago that a man who has done so much to help young black men in Chicago is being targeted,” said Andy DeVooght, King’s attorney.

DeVooght called the inspector general’s report a “kangaroo” investigation and said it was full of holes. He said that to the extent that King helped the young man in question, it was with private donations through an alumni program. Many former students, most of whom are low-income and need support beyond high school, have been helped by the program, he said.

King’s attorney said the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services previously investigated allegations of sexual abuse but did not substantiate them. King does not face criminal charges.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez pledged last year during a scandal at the Marine Leadership Academy to act quickly and be transparent when it comes to sexual misconduct.

Charter schools are part of the public schools in Chicago. Last year, the school district distributed about $8.6 million to Urban Prep to provide education for students who attended two of its three schools. The third campus is publicly funded.

King served as both chief executive and president of the charter school system, a setup that school district officials have previously criticized for creating a conflict of interest.

“We intend to clear his name,” DeVooght said. The attorney added that there have been no other allegations in King’s 30-year career.

In the letter to parents, CPS officials said they told Urban Prep to fire King after the inspector general’s substantiated findings. However, he appealed the inspector general’s findings to the CPS’s Title IX coordinator, who denied King’s appeal, according to the CPS. After that, King resigned.

King leaves Urban Prep at a critical time. Urban Prep has spent years in financial turmoil and had to get cash advances and take out high-interest loans to make its paycheck, according to a score obtained by WBEZ. It also saw its student enrollment dwindle as black families left town, taking students with them.

The two CPS-authorized campuses are due for renewal next year.

Sarah Karp covers education for WBEZ.