Imagine Schools, Inc.
April 2010: "What makes Imagine Schools different from Educational Management Companies?
Imagine Schools, an organization that operates public charter schools, seeks to help parents fulfill their responsibility to educate their children by providing excellent public school options.
Many aspects of what we do are unique in the field of education, including our purpose, vision, approach to starting schools, and economic practices. The following is a brief overview of what makes Imagine Schools distinct from educational management companies.
Operating vs. Managing. Imagine Schools operates the entire school, and is not a consultant or management company. All principals, teachers, and staff are Imagine Schools people. The Imagine Schools culture is meant to permeate every aspect of the school’s life. Each of our schools attempts to live out the Shared Values of Imagine Schools, and are evaluated by our Six Measures of Excellence.
We are committed to empowering principals, teachers, and other school staff with meaningful decision-making at the school level. When people ask us, “Who is Imagine?” our response is, “I am Imagine!”
Nonprofit status. Imagine Schools operates as a non-profit organization. We applied for nonprofit status in August 2005, and we are expecting an official designation as a nonprofit organization from the IRS soon.
100% of Imagine Schools’ expenditures go towards educating students: salaries, facilities costs, school start-up, and regional and national leadership and support. Our home office consists of only 24 people, a very small national staff for an organization of 3,600 employees serving over 36,000 students. Our decentralized approach helps us operate much more cost-effectively than other comparable organizations.
Our school buildings. Schoolhouse Finance LLC, part of the Imagine Schools family, provides long-term real estate financing for many of the school buildings that are home to Imagine’s public charter schools across the country. Schoolhouse Finance was formed to provide each Imagine school with access to cost-effective facilities acquisition, construction, and long-term financing. Imagine Schools only finances school facilities for schools we own and operate.
Our scope of work. Imagine Schools seeks to start and operate public charter schools in communities where parents desire more quality educational options. Because we are a mission-driven organization with a vision encompassing the whole school, our scope of work does not include starting schools for other groups or providing only administrative or financial support for a school. We are committed to operating our schools over the long term..."http://www.imagineschools.com/dynamic-about.aspx?id=1000
April 2010: "Beginning with one failed charter school company they acquired in 2004, they have built an organization that has contracts with 71 schools in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Imagine is now the largest commercial manager of charter schools in the country....But regulators in some states have found that Imagine has elbowed the charter holders out of virtually all school decision making — hiring and firing principals and staff members, controlling and profiting from school real estate, and retaining fees under contracts that often guarantee Imagine’s management in perpetuity."http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/24/education/24imagine.html
Role Name Type Last Updated Possible/Unclear Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Organization Apr 24, 2010 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Schoolhouse Finance Organization Apr 24, 2010 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Founded/Co-Founded by Dennis W. Bakke MBA Person Apr 24, 2010
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Apr 23, 2010 For Charter School Company, Issues of Money and Control
QUOTE: growing scrutiny from school boards and state regulators questioning how public money is spent and whether the company exerts too much control over the schools.... Imagine has elbowed the charter holders out of virtually all school decision making...
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