In June, the charter school's board cited Young for "leadership" and "providing an excellent educational opportunity for at risk and underprivileged children in Orange County" in its resolution authorizing the payout of more than $500,000 upon the school's closing.
A principal of a school of 180 kids and;
In 2011-12, NorthStar High School's directors paid Principal Kelly Young more than twice as much money as they spent on the school's educational program.
By comparison, the school spent $366,042 on instruction, including teacher salaries, last school year, according to an audit paid for by the school.
The school lacked computers, a library or cafeteria services at its facility in concrete portables on Curry Ford Road. According to the January report by Orange County Public Schools, the school's reading teacher was not certified in reading and NorthStar didn't have someone certified to teach English language-learners.
The school, which operated for 11 years, was never an academic standout. It's last grade from the state was a D, but it was losing ground last year. "It wasn't a good educational environment for students," said Christopher Bernier, who oversees charter schools in Orange County. "They weren't producing. They weren't learning."
Florida lawmakers are outraged:
"I have never seen an act that egregious in 15 years of working with charters," said State Rep. John Legg, R-Port Richey, a charter school business administrator who started a charter school 15 years ago. State lawmakers from both parties are calling for reforms to the charter law that would add transparency and accountability.
Montford said he's already drafting legislation that would make charter schools more accountable and transparent.
"There may be others out there, but we don't know," he said. "Florida is known for transparency. Why does it stop at the charter school door?"
End of update.
In the latest in how to lose public education dollars, this story from NBC News. (I'll call out in red how this parallels I-1240.)
A Florida state senator is calling for an investigation into the payout of more than $500,000 to the principal of a failed Orange County charter school.
A school board chairman blasted the payout of taxpayer money, which has sparked outrage in Orlando, as “immoral and unethical.”
Kelly Young, principal of NorthStar High School in Orlando, received a check for $519,453.96 in June, about the same time the Orange County School Board accepted the school’s plan to close in lieu of being forced to shut down based on declining student achievement, The Orlando Sentinel reported.
The Sentinel also reported that Young was “still being paid thousands of dollars a month” at the time to complete the school’s affairs. The school serves about 180 students in east Orange County.
Young's payment was authorized by the charter school's independent board, which is separate from the Orange County School Board, in June. At the time, the independent board called it "well-deserved and earned for her years of dedicated service at a below-market rate of compensation," the Sentinel reported.
Orange County School District officials say they were unaware of the principal's payment because the school isn’t required to report it under Florida's charter school law, according to the Sentinel.
Young’s attorney, Larry Brown, said the payment was justified. "Here's a lady with no retirement, who at that point had put six years of her life into the school, feeling like she had to make provision for retirement in her contract," Brown told the Sentinel. (Note; most teachers in charters don't have retirement in their contracts either.)
Money leftover from charter schools is supposed to funnel back to school districts upon closure.According to the Sentinel,
NorthStar, which had a balance of $717,293 at the end of the 2011 school year, has not turned over any money to Orange County Public Schools.
A statement provided to the district by the charter school showed a balance of less than $10,000 on June 29.
More charter school scandals. It makes Silas Potter look like a piker.
This site is called...Charter School Scandals and is cross-referenced by charter group, foundations, and states.