I'm back on the Imagine Schools story, which I've never really let go of but haven't written about lately. They've been in the news recently in Indiana, Texas and Florida, but I'm the only one looking at them here.
(Imagine Schools is a Virginia corporation that runs 70-something charters across the country, including about 13 here in Arizona.)
Today's topic is Imagine's through-the-looking-glass relationship with non profit status.
I've learned recently that some Imagine Schools are run by "Imagine Schools, Inc.," and others are run by something called "Imagine Schools Non-Profit, Inc."
Except there's one minor problem. "Imagine Schools Non-Profit, Inc." is not a non-profit.
OK, let me say that again. There's a corporation called "Imagine Schools Non-Profit, Inc.," but it isn't a non profit. According to Imagine's CEO, it's been trying to get non profit status since 2005 and hasn't been able to manage it. But the Imagine Schools website refers to itself as a "nonprofit entity" regardless.
In Arizona, "Imagine Schools Non-Profit, Inc." runs 6 of the Imagine Charter schools. The for-profit Imagine Inc. runs the rest.
Ready for the punchline?
Every AZ Imagine charter run by "Imagine Schools Non-Profit, Inc." is a for-profit charter school.
Every AZ Imagine charter run by the for-profit "Imagine, Inc." is a non-profit charter school.
I sure hope Imagine Schools teach Alice Through the Looking Glass as part of their curriculum. If they're living it, they should teach it as well.
This is one of a series of posts, Peeking into Charter Schools. If you have information you wish to contribute, you can post comments or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.