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Charter school chain fires co-founder over claims of misconduct

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Students walk through the courtyard to their next class at KIPP San Francisco College Preparatory school in San Francisco’s Bayview District Friday, November 17, 2017. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

The co-founder of a national charter school chain that has locations in San Francisco was terminated Thursday following allegations of sexual misconduct that date back to the 1990s.

Michael Feinberg was terminated by KIPP Schools after an independent investigation into the allegations found “credible evidence” of misconduct, according to a statement released by the organization.

KIPP has a number of locations in the Bay Area, including three in San Francisco.

Allegations that Feinberg, who co-founded KIPP in 1994, sexually assaulted a student in the 1990s triggered the investigation. The allegations were not previously reported to KIPP or the authorities, according to the statement.

Two separate investigations were launched by KIPP Houston Public Schools and the law firm WilmerHale. While neither investigation “conclusively confirmed” the sexual assault allegation, investigators found it to to have “credibility.”

Feinberg has denied the allegation, according to the organization.

The investigation also revealed evidence of sexual harassment by Feinberg involving an adult KIPP alumna who was employed with KIPP Houston in 2004. Another credible harassment claim by a KIPP alumna also employed by KIPP Houston in that time period could not be corroborated.

“What is clear, however, is that, at a minimum, Mr. Feinberg put himself into situations where his conduct could be seriously misconstrued,” the statement reads.

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