On May 6th, 2016, In the Public Interest submitted a letter asking the California Board of Education to affirm the decision of two district school boards and one county board of education to reject a charter application by the International Language Studies Academy (ISLA). In the letter, In the Public Interest drew attention to the various scandals involving ISLA’s for-profit management company, Academica, which has been under federal investigation for alleged violations of conflict-of-interest laws and has amassed a charter school real estate empire in Florida.
The letter included the results of an analysis of Academica’s role as a landlord to charter schools that it managed in the Sunshine State:
- The average of rent as a share of expenses for Florida schools leasing from Academica was much higher than that of those schools Academic managed but which leased from a non-Academica entity: 17.7% versus 11.5%.
- In Dade County, Academica’s largest market in Florida, the results were similar: 16.9% versus 12.2%. This difference translates to $4.1 million not going towards educating the 12,668 students who attend Dade County schools; the loss per pupil is $327.
This analysis and more is included in a new research brief titled “Academica’s Florida Real Estate Operations,” available for download below.
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