A Clearwater-based charter school company is facing increased scrutiny.
Newpoint Education Partners has one month to draft a "corrective action plan" for three of its schools in Pinellas County. Rick Wolfe, the district's charter school director, has notified Florida's Department of Education that Newpoint Pinellas Academy and Newpoint Pinellas High in Clearwater are operating with a significant financial deficit. It also cited Windsor Preparatory Academy in St. Petersburg, which also was flagged for numerous complaints from parents, ranging from high-teacher turnover to what some say is an inadequate curriculum. Romy Caba has an 8-year-old at the charter elementary school. She said she doesn't have a problem with her son's teachers, but she's tried to communicate other concerns to the administration. "I never received a response," she said. "So that's why I have to go there personally if I need something. If you send them an email you might not get a response." Each of the school’s boards must work with the Pinellas School District before finalizing what actions are needed. They will then have one year to demonstrate compliance. If they don't, Wolfe said it's possible the schools could be shut down. In a statement, Newpoint Education Partners said "the board is working with our accountants and the CPA firm who conducted the independent audit to develop the requested plan and will submit it by the April 5 deadline."