Accountability KIPP Charter Schools

KIPP Co-Founder Sues KIPP for Defamation

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Mike Feinberg, co-founder of KIPP in 1994, was swiftly fired in 2018 after two KIPP graduates accused him of sexual impropriety.

Now Feinberg is suing KIPP.

Valerie Strauss reports:

A founder of the KIPP charter school network who was fired in 2018 after being accused of sexual misconduct is suing the organization, saying the allegations were false and that his career and reputation have been destroyed by the actions of KIPP.

KIPP executives called the lawsuit filed by Mike Feinberg “baseless and frivolous,” and said they “regret” that he is putting his accusers and the “entire KIPP community through further distress.”

Feinberg, who in 1994 co-founded a Texas school that grew into the nation’s largest charter network, filed the lawsuit Thursday and is seeking a jury trial and punitive and other damages. He has consistently denied an allegation that he sexually abused a student in the late 1990s. The allegation Since the Washington Post is triggered two investigations…

Feinberg’s lawsuit says that he was never given “detailed information about the allegations” against him and that if he had, he could have “provided facts that would have disproved them.”

“KIPP’s public statements following Mike’s termination were false and inflammatory,” the lawsuit says. “KIPP knew that such a serious allegation would destroy Mike’s career in education and be personally devastating to him, his family and friends. But KIPP didn’t care. What mattered most to KIPP was that Mike be removed and his career be ruined. In that, KIPP succeeded.”

Since the Washington Post is behind a paywall, here is another account, in a Texas paper, with more detail.

On top of punitive damages, Feinberg is suing for actual damages, including mental anguish, loss of society and loss of earning capacity.

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