CARROLLWOOD, Fla. - Teachers at A. T. Jones Academy -- a financially challenged Carrollwood charter school -- are still awaiting word on whether or not they will be reimbursed money deducted from their paychecks that was supposed to go toward health insurance.
"They owe me $623 for the premiums I paid without providing service," explained So.
When So says 'they,' she is referring to school board members. Only one member, Bob Morrison, has not resigned.
Board members terminated teacher's insurance twice, but kept deducting money from their paychecks for coverage. Teachers learned they were uninsured when United Healthcare sent them a letter in the mail.
Last Thursday, Morrison met with faculty and parents at the academy to address financial issues. Parents allege board members mismanaged funds, creating a deficit of more than $100,000. Morrison disputes this number, putting the money shortfall around $65,000.
He claims the school is operating in the red because some parents failed to pay for after school care and lunches, ultimately leaving the school to pick up the tab.
With looming money problems, teachers and parents are left in limbo as to whether or not the school will open its doors next month. Morrison has not official declared the school closed, but over the weekend, schools signs and the letters that hung over the entrance doors which spelled the Academy's name were removed.
The school's website is also no longer up and running.
So and other faculty members asked Morrison how their medical bills would be handled, whether they would be reimbursed and where there money went.
A spreadsheet So created, along with about 15 other teachers shows teachers are owed $9,000. That number is only the sum of the deductibles taken, not what teachers have paid out-of-pocket to doctors and for prescriptions.
So told ABC Action News she has attended almost every board meeting and cannot get answers. Last Thursday, Morrison told teachers and faculty he would email them Monday with answers. He never did.
So also wrote numerous letters to the board asking for her money and documenting the deductions in each paycheck. So said she never heard back.
"They have not done anything about it. We try to them," So said.
Most teachers at the school, including the principal, have quit or resigned.
Morrison apologized to teachers for not including them in the decision to cancel health insurance coverage. He reassured teachers money taken from their paychecks is in the bank and he would cut them checks. He did not provide the bank's name. Minutes later, he told teachers he used their money to pay other bills.
"I don't think I will ever get my money back," So said.
Some parents and faculty said they received the following letter from Morrison Tuesday:
Dear 2012 A. T. Jones Parents:
At the conclusion of the A. T. Jones Academy Board meeting on last Thursday, the commitment was made to update not only those in attendance, but also all existing 2012 Academy parents about the status of the school and its future. We will accomplish that commitment in a number of email communications over the next 7-10 business days.
First, it was announced that Academy Office Manager Ms. Amy Young will have set hours, 4 days a week (Monday - Thursday) to assist with any records request a parent may have. The process for file copies is straight forward - please email your request to Ms. Young at email@example.com before 8am on any business day the office is open and you will receive an acknowledgement response and subsequently be notified of the readiness of the scholar's records by the following business day that the office is open.
This week, the Academy office hours are: Monday - 12 noon - 4pm Tuesday - 9am -1pm Wednesday - 9am - 1pm Thursday - 12noon - 4pm
For security purposes and student privacy, no walk-up request will be allowed and no more than one party will be allowed in the office / building at a time.
As for permanent records, the District has an established process that will be strictly followed. We have taken steps to insure that the all student records are properly secured and maintained. Any other use of the Academy premises by the owner during the summer will not provide access to critical, secure areas of the Academy Administrative suite by mutual agreement. Finally, we will take this week to complete the analysis of the completion of the 2012 academic year and the prospects for the 2013 school year. Please expect another communication on or before Wednesday of this week.
Bob Morrison for the A. T. Jones Academy for Math, Science and Technology Board
ABC Action News emailed and called Morrison but has not yet heard back.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Plenty of sunshine with warm temps and humid conditions. Only a 20% chance for an afternoon shower or storm.