Cashing in on Kids

Imagine Schools ordered to pay $1 million for self dealing

The Columbus Dispatch reports more charter school finance and facility problems. In Missouri, a federal judge ordered Imagine Schools to pay $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 is not the first time Imagine Schools and SchoolHouse Finance have been scrutinized for its excessive leases.  The Columbus Dispatch reported an Imagine school on the north side had annual lease payments of $700,000, which was the school's top expense and was over half of its annual state revenue.

This self-dealing within the charter school sector proves the need for sweeping charter school reform and implementing real accountability measures. Progress Ohio released a set of recommendations for reforms, which you can find here.

Read the complaint: Imagine_gov.uscourts.mowd.110158.1.0_complaint

Read the ruling: Imagine_gov.uscourts.mowd.110158.136.0_finding