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Judge affirms Manatee County's decision to terminate charter contract of Lincoln Memorial Academy

"... [The school] has failed to demonstrate any reason to reverse the final order," the court said.
Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

PALMETTO, Fla. — The Florida First District Court of Appeal on Wednesday affirmed the school board of Manatee County's 2019 decision to terminate the charter school contract of Lincoln Memorial Academy.

The school opened in 2018 but was returned to the district after an investigation showed widespread evidence of "systematic dysfunction," including unpaid bills and teachers not receiving paychecks.

Federal investigators also announced the government was looking into allegations of fraud, bribery and embezzlement.

An initial, September 2019 ruling that revoked the school's status as a charter school and converted it back to a public middle school will remain. That ruling, the court said, was "supported by competent, substantial evidence, and we find no merit in [Lincoln Memorial Academy Inc.'s] arguments."

"... [The school] has failed to demonstrate any reason to reverse the final order."

Read: Full court ruling

Lincoln Memorial Academy, according to court documents, complained of various issues, including the school board itself failed to provide needed support. Those arguments were rejected.

"Our focus as a school district as it pertains to Lincoln Memorial Academy is on its future and the success of its students,” Superintendent Cynthia Saunders said in a statement. "We are open to working with members of our community who want to share and participate in the school’s success."

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