Paradiso College Preparatory

The School Bell Rings at New Charter School With No Contract, No Site Consultation and the Opposition of the Community 

Parents walked toward the corner of Ponce de León Street in Río Piedras, from Amalia Marín Street or José Gándara Avenue, to drop off their children dressed in khaki shorts and navy-blue polo shirt bearing the logo of the new Alianza Paradiso College Preparatory School, on Wednesday, their first day of school. “Divinitus Inspirata Discite Quid Est” reads the badge embroidered on the boys’ shirts and the overalls worn by the girls. 

On the Facebook social network, the executive director of the charter school that does not have a signed contract with the Department of Education (DE) nor completed the location consultation process to run a school there, Robert Acosta, welcomed the new students. “Today we welcome all our students of the 2023-2024 school year #conocetuescuela (meet your school),” he wrote. On Tuesday morning, in the Ponce de León building, workers hung location consultation signs for the school that began operating on Wednesday in a structure classified for commercial tourist use. There, Acosta’s executive assistant, Doralba Rivera, was unable to show the agreement to the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish), which she said was signed “in the summer,” because she did not have the document handy.

Department of Education Ordered to Cancel Contract With Charter School With Shady Record

Education canceled the contract or constitutive letter of what would be the branch of the South Bronx Charter School for International Cultures & the Arts (SBCSICA) in Puerto Rico. The termination of the agreement came after the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) ordered the agency “to show cause regarding the awarding of the contract,” 20 days after the CPI revealed that this charter had accusations from the Office of the Comptroller of New York and that an incorporator of the Neighborhood Association For Inter-Cultural Affairs–Puerto Rico (NAICA-PR), Richard Izquierdo Arroyo, pleaded guilty to embezzling funds from another nonprofit organization he chaired in New York.