ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (WFLA) — Windsor Prep charter school is now in talks with the Pinellas School district to take over the financially troubled school and save it from a total shutdown.
Windsor Board Chairman Chris Wenzel announced at the board meeting Thursday evening that the school must vote immediately if it plans to let the Pinellas School District assume control of the school and preserve the project-based learning model that parents value at the charter school. “Time is not on our side,” Wenzel told parents. Wenzel said he has been in discussions with Superintendent Michael Grego, who wants to preserve the school’s project-based education model.
Windsor has been on a financial death watch for months following the District’s determination that it was in a financially deteriorating condition.
The school— as well as three other charter schools in Pinellas were left deeply in debt by a for-profit management company, Newpoint Education Partners LLC that quit in March. Last month a Grand Jury in Escambia County indicted Newpoint for grand theft, money laundering and white collar crimes related to the alleged misuse of taxpayer money at schools in Pensacola.
If the Windsor Board agrees to surrender its charter and become a public school it will lose its independence but gain the security of being under the umbrella of the district. There are questions about what will happen to the teachers and staff who must re-apply for their jobs. During initial discussion the Windsor Board and parents had a mixed response to the proposal.
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