Make us your home page


Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Ohio lawsuit alleges White Hat charter school company failed schools



In all the hub-bub over the closing of Life Skills Center in St. Petersburg, you might have heard talk of a lawsuit filed on behalf of 10 Ohio charter schools against Life Skills' for-profit charter company, White Hat Management.

The suit, filed in mid-May, alleges that White Hat, which is based in Ohio, received 96 percent of the public dollars sent to the school, but failed to invest that money in the classroom or to provide required financial disclosures. It also claims that Ohio’s charter school laws leave local governing boards helpless against their managers.

See the full complaint here:  Hope Academy Broadway Campus, et al v. White Hat Management, et al

White Hat, which touts itself as one of the largest for-profit charter school companies in the U.S., runs two Pinellas County charter schools and eight more throughout Florida.

Pinellas County School Board earlier this month voted not to renew its contract with one of the schools -- Life Skills Center of St. Petersburg, a five-year-old school dedicated to helping students obtain their diplomas after falling behind in traditional schools. The board a cited poor graduation rate and other academic concerns.

The school is expected to close Wednesday, leaving 22 staff members without jobs or severance.

The second Pinellas campus, Life Skills Center of North Pinellas in Clearwater, remains open.

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 10:09am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours