'We remain committed to doing more with less'
As today's Tampa Bay Times story noted, the rents that Imagine charter schools in Pinellas and Pasco (and elsewhere) are paying is raising eyebrows because 1) the rents are really high compared to other charter schools and 2) the buildings are owned by an Imagine affiliate. By contrast, some of the lowest per-pupil rents among Pinellas charters are paid by the four Plato Academy charters, which lease space from churches.
In response to questions from The Gradebook, Cam VanNoord, the Plato Academy's director of public relations and marketing, emailed us a lengthy response that touched on many issues. The story only had room for a brief quote, so we attached the entirety of VanNoord's response below. (We also attached the attachments she refers to.) Here is a taste:
"Due to the vast financial inequities charter schools face, Plato Academy cannot afford expensive rents, frills or costly construction projects. We acknowledge our financial limitations and although difficult at best, we remain committed to doing more with less. We are not known for luxurious facilities, but we are known for our high performing 'A' rated schools."