To the Editor:
We are appalled by your depiction of Imagine Schools in “For Charter School Company, Issues of Spending and Control” (front page, April 24). The true tests of successful schools, whether charter or traditional, are parent satisfaction and student achievement.
Why not spotlight the 37,000 Imagine Schools students who are learning character and leadership along with reading, history and math? Most students enter Imagine’s schools below grade level and make larger academic strides compared with peers in traditional schools.
Why not highlight the great deal for taxpayers? Imagine delivers a high-quality education for 70 percent of the money that schools run by the government spend. Why not feature satisfied parents? The fact that some at four schools were unhappy does not a trend make when most parents at 70 campuses are highly satisfied, most schools are full and over 90 percent of students re-enroll. This is the true measure of Imagine Schools’ effectiveness and success.
Arlington, Va., April 26, 2010
The writers are the founders of Imagine Schools.
In the first quarter of 2010, we continued to execute our plan of acquiring high quality properties in our two primary asset classes - theatres and public charter schools. Furthermore, our existing portfolio continued to demonstrate its resilience in today’s economic environment. I will discuss overall performance later, but first, I would like to discuss the major acquisitions for the quarter.
On January 21, we completed an additional investment of approximately $48 million with Imagine Schools. This transaction involved five schools with a cost of approximately $44 million, located in Florida, Indiana, and Ohio, as well as a commitment to provide approximately $4 million of expansion capital for two schools. The investment was structured as an addition to our existing master lease, which is tripled-net in design and pass a substantially all of the obligations for the expense and operation of the property to our tenant.
Mortgage and other financing income was $12.6 million for the quarter up $2.1 million from last year. This increase is due to our January 2010 acquisition of five public charter schools as well as increased real estate lending activities during 2009.
As we discussed in our last call, our 2010 capital plan calls for additional investment spending of approximately $100 million, with the majority of that number targeted for the latter half of the year. I’m very pleased to report to you that we are looking at a number of significant opportunities that could materially accelerate this time frame. These opportunities exist for both theatre and public charter school acquisitions. However, as with previously anticipated transactions, we do not discuss specifics until we have a definitive transaction, or we are otherwise compelled to disclose it legally.