Touchdowns4Life Charter Middle School

Parents, students and teachers are unexpectedly scrambling to find a new school.

The abrupt end was punctuated by locked doors and silence at one school, and with a chaotic gathering of parents and students at another.

But the story at three Broward charter schools was essentially the same on Friday: financial problems had led to closure, leaving parents and students to unexpectedly scramble to find a new place to enroll.

“We should have had way more time to look for other schools for our kids,” said Nicole Williams, whose son Alfonso was a 10th-grader at Eagle Charter Academy in Lauderdale Lakes, one of the three schools now closed. Also closing this week were the nearby SMART Charter School (run by the same company as Eagle Charter), and Touchdowns4life Charter School in Tamarac, which was founded by former Miami Dolphins running back Terry Kirby.

Williams said the school sent her a notification letter on Wednesday...

... district spokeswoman Tracy Clark said Touchdowns4life’s closure was due to “funding” issues — likely also enrollment-related, since charter schools are funded almost entirely based on the number of students who attend.

Annual audits for all three schools show deep financial troubles. A June 2011 audit of Touchdowns4life showed the school was nearly $24,000 behind on its rent, was accused of owing $20,000 to the company that supplied its computer equipment, and had been charged more than $4,000 in bank overdraft fees...


... CBS 4 spoke to a former teacher at Touchdowns on Saturday.

Bibiana Ortiz spent 15 years teaching at traditional Broward county public schools and it was her first experience with a charter school.

“I wondered why parents were dropping their kids off when there were only two teachers and three classrooms,” she says.

“The math and history teacher was let go on the ninth day.  The principal was let go and myself and one other teacher were left to carry the whole weight.  They didn’t have p.e. and recess was in the parking lot.  We didn’t have supplies or books and we haven’t gotten paid.”...


TAMARAC — A charter school founded by former Miami Dolphins running back Terry Kirby is facing eviction from a strip mall just days before the start of a new school year.

Broward County Judge Robert W. Lee signed an order dated last Friday against the Touchdowns4Life charter middle school, authorizing the school's eviction from 10044 W. McNab Road.

According to the Broward School District, the school reached an agreement with its landlord on Tuesday to ward off the eviction. The landlord could not be reached to confirm the agreement.

Court documents show the school was behind on its rent in the sum of $39,950.20 as of July 12. Rent for July alone was $7,085, although it wasn't clear from the documents whether that included any penalties or fees...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Touchdowns4life... that's my school... that was my school... I loved it so much... It hurts to see this... Ms. Ortiz was my science teacher... She worked so hard, and never even got paid. I wish I could have saved the school. But I couldn't. I'm only 13, And I was 12 when school began, AND ended there... I've been to so many schools in the first semester alone and now I'm behind on my grades to this day. I might even have to repeat the 7th grade. On a happier note, I met my boyfriend there. I know, I'm young, but we don't even kiss often, and we've never made out... or... yeah.