Sarasota News Leader

03/08/2013

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UNCHARTERED WATERS Parents of students at the Imagine School in North Port crowd the Sarasota County School Board chambers the evening of March 5. Photo by Scott Proffitt AS A LOCAL CHARTER SCHOOL ATTEMPTS TO BREAK AWAY FROM ITS VIRGINIA-BASED PARENT COMPANY, THE SCHOOL BOARD URGES MEDIATION By Scott Proffitt Staff Writer As a charter school, the Imagine School of North Port is operated by a local governing board and a principal at the local level, but it is under the aegis of Imagine Schools, the largest charter school organization in the country. The North Port school is an A+ rated charter that has been part of the Sarasota County Schools district since 2008. Parents and students say they are thrilled with the school, but corporate representatives say parents and faculty have grown unhappy with the parent company's taking $1 million a year from the local school's revenue. The North Port school's governing board has taken steps to legally sever the relationship with that This is something that we don't Virginia-based parwant to get involved in. We encourage all ent corporation, but of you to get to the table and to mediate management in Virand get this resolved for the good of our ginia says the Sarachildren. sota County group is illegally attempting Jane Goodwin Chairwoman to violate the charter Sarasota County School Board agreement and dis-

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