Newpoint schools in Pensacola are no more.
Two have been closed by the Board of Education, and the third school was closed at the direction of Newpoint themselves.
The State Attorney's office is investigating these schools, one arrest has been made already, and the investigation into other aspects of Newpoint and the school district's handling of Newpoint continues, I have confirmed this via a conversation with someone intimately familiar with the investigation.
But left in the wake of Newpoint's implosion, though, is the quicksand effect--innocent bystanders caught in the mess.
-Teachers want to be paid and feel they have been treated unfairly. More than one former Newpoint teacher has told me they feel their reputations have been tarnished as a result of their affiliation with the former Newpoint Pensacola operation; one has confided in me that she has applied for 12 positions within the Escambia district and has not been able to find a job. She feels she has been blackballed.
-Parents and students feel betrayed by this organization--and have expressed this in the media and to me personally
-Vendors and lenders are coming forward now, demanding payment.
Now comes an action in Federal Court: A writ of Garnishment has been filed and now the district has to answer in court, delineating what monies we still hold from Newpoint, and what it is we are owed by Newpoint. Similar to a bankruptcy proceeding--eventually a Judge will rule on who's monetary claims take precedence and where the remaining monies should be allocated. This writ is looking at $70K--my understanding is we're holding less than $30K from Newpoint.
And then there is the issue of the former Newpoint teachers and where their monetary claims will be prioritized by the Judge.
I hope the employees, purveyors, and every other monetary claim is paid, I hope the Judge rules this way, and I hope this is made to happen before this organization (or any re-constituted version of this group) receives one $.01 cent from any other state, city, or school board anywhere else in America.
I hope the Judge hammers them and punishes them for what they have done here in Pensacola.
The quicksand effect this mismanagement of Newpoint created will unfortunately give a black-eye to legitimate charter-school operators nationwide, and for that the damage is incalculable.