Just got this press release regarding a lawsuit filed against Akron-based White Hat Management by several of the Hope Academy and Life Skills charter schools under its management in Akron and Cleveland. Read the filing here. The press release is here.
A group of pioneering charter schools today filed a court action against the unconstitutional authority granted to its politically connected management company. They also want a complete accounting of White Hat's spending of state and federal dollars.
In a suit filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Hope Academies of Cleveland and Akron and Life Skills Centers of Cleveland and Akron Governing Boards seek relief from the total and untenable authority given to White Hat Management, LLC by the Ohio General Assembly.
"Charter schools were created to free children trapped in failing public schools and give parents a desperately needed educational option," said April Hart, legal counsel for the schools. "The Governing Boards of Hope Academies and Life Skills are community members who seek to ensure that state and federal dollars directly benefit the students. White Hat Management is a for profit company. Its interest in making a profit often conflicts with the schools' goal to educate and show student progress. There are no real rules in place to make White Hat fully account for the non-profit dollars they receive to manage Ohio charters. It's the big elephant in the room that seems to slip by the legislature every year."
The suit argues White Hat Management wields total, unchecked and unconstitutional control over its client charter schools and their funding. This authority over the publicly funded charter schools was obtained through White Hat Management's considerable clout in the Ohio General Assembly.