"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cutting Imagine a Check

You've got to be kidding. From the Journal Gazette:

Grant to help pay rent at Imagine

The Imagine MASTer Academy on Wells Street has received a unique federal grant the school will use to help pay its rent.

As part of the grant, the school will receive $229,800 each year for five years, Jason Bryant, vice president of Imagine Schools, told the board Wednesday. Bryant said Indiana and California were the only states to receive the federal money, earmarked for charter schools. He said Indiana was given $30 million for the program.

“This is a very unique situation, historically,” said Guy Platter, regional director for Imagine Schools. Platter and Bryant said the board will use the money to pay rent so that it can free up money in the schools’ general fund for staff salaries and other expenses.


Remember: Imagine MASTer Academy was put on probation just a few months ago by their authorizer after the good folks at the Journal Gazette wrote up a three-part series on the various troubles with the school [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3].

Imagine MASTer teachers are paid over $10k less than their Indiana counterparts.

Here's a quick rundown of where the money is really going at Imagine MASTer Academy: $342,757 in "professional services" to Imagine Schools, Inc. (the for-profit arm), $746,144 for occupancy (owned by Entertainment Properties Trust), and according to their most recent 990 tax form (07-08), the school was operating $268,711 in the red. For a little more icing on this cake, the 990 also says the school owed $760,513 for "capital lease obligations" to - you guessed it - Imagine Schools, Inc.

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