How did this start?
On April 23, 2021, a reporter from The Arizona Republic contacted Prenda CEO Kelly Smith asking for comment about an investigation by the Arizona Attorney General’s office. Kelly was attending 5th grade science camp as a chaperone with his daughter’s microschool at the time, and as you can imagine, the question was startling. Prenda had not heard anything from the Attorney General’s office, so we had nothing to say about a purported investigation.
As of December 2021, Prenda has still not been contacted by the Attorney General’s office regarding any sort of investigation.
So what happened?
The Arizona Republic ran an article on April 26, under the headline “Arizona attorney general launches investigation into microschool company and its partner.” This article names Jim Hall as the author of a complaint against Prenda and one of its partner schools. Mr. Hall is an… enthusiastic exerciser of his right to petition his government with hundreds of complaints to various government agencies to his name.
An investigator from the Attorney General’s office called Mr. Hall with follow-up questions about his complaint, which triggered the newspaper article. According to The Republic: “Last week, Hall said he was contacted by an attorney general fraud investigator who specializes in investigating complex white-collar crimes, cybercrimes, fraud schemes and conflicts of interest. ”The investigator never reached out to Prenda or the charter school referenced in the story.
Through our outside counsel, Prenda reached out to the Attorney General’s office asking for more information. Our attorneys reported back that “the allegations of misconduct by Prenda were unfounded. And I have confirmed with the Attorney General’s Office that any investigation it had relating to the above story is now closed.”
We absolutely respect Mr. Hall’s right to complain to his government, and we likewise have a lot of respect for the hard-working investigators of Arizona law enforcement who follow up on such things. In this case, the complaint was without merit and Prenda is hard at work to realize our mission of empowering learners. Are you with a district or charter school interested in bringing the microschool model to families in your community?
Reach out we'd love to talk!