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Sarasota News Leader March 8, 2013 rupting the academic year, including seeking renegotiation of faculty contracts at a critical time — right before students take the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Page 42 Rod Sasse, executive vice president with Imagine Schools, told the board, "We have no answers as to why this action would be taken. We have had several teachers call us in distress." The contrasting perspectives of the situation were presented during the March 5 meeting of Sasse accused Principal Justin Matthews of the Sarasota County School Board, but it ap- telling teachers to resign then sign new conpears the issues are far from being resolved. tracts. Among the speakers who addressed the board, Ray Lowe, who has two children at the North Port Imagine School, said he and his family are very happy with it. However, Lowe added, he has been frustrated by the parent company's repeated failure "to expand the school as required. … It is about the money. Short of closing the school, there is no other way than the decision by the board and the principal to attempt to sever the ties with the parent corporation." Parent Tracy Raleigh said the Imagine School of North Port is the best school of all she has seen in the four states where she has lived and of all those her children have attended. She added that she supports the effort to transform the school into a standalone entity, separate from its corporate parent. Chrissy Bynum's child has been attending the school since it opened, she told the board. "As a parent, it is reassuring to know [Principal] Matthews keeps such a close eye on our stu- Teacher J.J. Andrews addresses the School Board. Photo by Scott Proffitt

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