For some reason, the Gulen charter chain thought that it would be a good idea to open a charter in a rural county in Alabama. Residents of Washington County were outraged, and the charter didn’t enroll enough students to open. The state charter commission asked no questions of Soner Tarim, the leader of Woodland Prep, and gave the school a one-year extension.

But as veteran education writer Larry Lee reports, the commission members changed and now Tarim was asked tough questions about his enrollment and finances and demanded evidence, which he could not supply.

The school is being built by American Charter Development out of Springville, Utah.  Their construction manager was at the meeting.  When Henry Nelson wanted to know why so little progress had been made on the building, this guy told him that it rains a lot in Alabama and that was slowing them down.

Everyone in the room guffawed knowing that Alabama is suffering its worst drought in decades.

(State representative Brett  Easterbrook of Washington County attended the meeting and said to me afterwards, “If you can’t tell the truth about where you live and the weather, how can you believe anything these folks says?” )