One of the few remaining Edison charter schools went broke, leaving teachers without a pay check. No one knows if the teachers will ever be paid. Most of Edison’s business now is online, not direct management of schools.
Derrick Thomas Academy charter school in Kansas City, which opened in 2002 with great promise, lost its charter and left behind a massive financial mess, with Edison demanding payment by the state, and financial backers crying about their losses.
According to the local story:
“The money that might have covered teacher salaries is tied up in court over a dispute among the school, the company contracted to manage it and the company that issued bonds for the school’s launch.
“The University of Missouri-Kansas City, which had sponsored the charter school at 201 E. Armour Blvd. since it opened in 2001, has no financial responsibility for the school or its debt. The academy announced last fall it would close after UMKC refused to renew its charter, citing poor management and low test scores. The school has since been overseen by an interim board.
“The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has been named in legal action to garnish more than $2.2 million that the management company, EdisonLearning Inc., says it is owed.
“Derrick Thomas Academy, now locked up behind a heavy black gate, also owes a substantial amount of money to the bondholder for the school, Lord Abbett.
“Jim Sansevero, spokesman for Lord Abbett, said the school has defaulted on bond payments and “$10 million is at risk.” The school used its building to secure the bonds.”
Is this disaster likely to dim the enthusiasm of charter advocates? Will they say that 11years was not a fair trial? What do you think?