A virtual charter school based in Indiana is being accused of nonpayment of more than $600,000 to one of the school's national partners.
The National Network of Digital Schools (NNDS) is suing the Indiana Cyber Charter School, claiming the school owes $400,000 for a loan, $200,000 for curriculum charges and $6,700 for computers and equipment. The suit was filed in the US District Court in Indianapolis on July 25.
The NNDS is also claiming that is being falsely charged around $10,000 for the charter school's employee health care premiums.
Earlier this week the NNDS released this statement concerning the lawsuit:
"As a non-profit education management foundation, we are focused on providing resources to help children learn and flourish academically. In order to fulfill that mission, we have to stay solvent, which led us to making the decision to filing a lawsuit against our client.
Certainly, we don't relish having had to do so, but deemed it our only recourse. Now it is in the hands of our justice system, where we are confident it will be resolved equitably.
Despite several media inquiries, and the natural tendency for us to want the public to know âour side of the story,' we are reticent about commenting further than acknowledging that the lawsuit is pending. We don't wish to taint or color the proceedings; we wish to leave the matter with the courts, period."
The group reportedly received only two payments for the 2012 Charter School Operating Agreement with the school. According to the agreement, the NNDS was to be an independent contractor for the school.
The two groups ended the agreement in September 2013. However, the school continued to use the services of the NNDS a la carte through their website.
Indiana Cyber provides curriculum and education plans for grades K-12 via their website for schools throughout the state.
According to Rachel Morello for Indiana Public Media, the charter school doubled its enrollment this year to 242 students.
The charter school recently released plans to open a campus on August 25 in Dugger for the 2014-2015 school year. Dugger Union Community Schools had been previously shut down due to budget restraints.
Representatives from Dugger told Katie Hargitt for WTWO that the lawsuit would not affect the campus in Dugger as it is related to issues with ICCS prior to their involvement with the school.
Don Williams, CEO of Indiana Cyber, stated that the new campus already has 275-300 students enrolled. The company is hoping to obtain Union High School and Dugger Elementary School.
Indiana Cyber is free to any students who wish to enroll, and its typical school day is five hours of online activity. Students must still participate in all state-run tests, and are subject to dismissal from the program if they do not comply with this requirement.