A federal judge in Missouri ordered Imagine Schools, one of the nation’s largest charter-school operators, to pay nearly $1 million for forcing a lucrative lease agreement on a school it operated.
Under the complex deal, Imagine Schools negotiated the pricey lease with SchoolHouse Finance and presented it to the school board of the Renaissance Academy for Math and Science for approval. Imagine Schools owns SchoolHouse Finance and directly benefited by the agreement.
“This clearly constituted self-dealing,” U.S. District Judge Judge Nanette K. Laughrey wrote in a blistering 29-page ruling.
Sound familiar? The Dispatch in October reported about a North Side charter school spending more than half of the tax dollars it receives on rent in a very similar lease deal with Imagine Schools and SchoolHouse Finance. The board of the Imagine Columbus Primary Academy asked Imagine to renegotiate the lease but that has not happened.
Read full article here: http://www.dispatch.com/content/blogs/the-daily-briefing/2015/01/121141-million-judgment-against-charter-school-operator.html