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School board renews contract for Ivy Academia charter

April 16, 2013|By Dalina Castellanos

The Los Angeles school board Tuesday renewed the operating charter for a Woodland Hills school recently embroiled in controversy.

The petition by Ivy Academia Entreprenurial Charter School was renewed with little discussion, less than two weeks after a jury convicted its founders of grand theft, embezzlement and other charges.

The 4-2 vote allows the school to remain open for another five years. “Ivy has come a long way,” said Carl Raggio, a special advisor to the charter’s board of directors.

Earlier this month, Yevgeny "Eugene" Selivanov and his wife, Tatyana Berkovich, were found guilty of illegally taking or misappropriating more than $200,000 in public funds.

The two were credited with developing a popular, high-performing school, but their management of finances attracted scrutiny and led to the filing of charges.

“We have gone through the process of separating from our founders,” Raggio said. He added that the school had replaced its board of directors, which had approved the financial transactions that got Selivanov and Berkovich into trouble.

Raggio joined the school’s board in 2010 as a turnaround specialist.

The charter’s 1,150 students are spread among three campuses. The school has achieved strong test scores and financial stability and deserved to remain in operation, supporters said.

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Twitter: @dalinac

dalina.castellanos@latimes.com

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