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Friday, May 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Landlord Says School Misspent State Aid

MINNEAPOLIS (CN) - A state judge this afternoon will hear a landlord's complaint that a south Minneapolis charter school refused to pay its rent and misspent state money. The nonprofit landlord, Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, claims Watershed High School paid state aid to a finance company, though the money was specifically designated to pay rent.

Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, a nonprofit for children at risk of abuse and neglect, sued Watershed High School in Hennepin County Court. It claims the charter school owes it more than $123,000, after using the state money to pay its debt to Charter School Capital, a financing company for charter schools.

The Minnesota Department of Education granted the aid specifically for lease payments and for no other purpose, the Crisis Nursery says.

The nonprofit claims Watershed has defaulted on its $19,495 monthly rent, crippling the Crisis Nursery, which relies on the lease payments for its own operations. It claims the late rent and other charges due come to more than $123,000.

Watershed High School is one of 54 charter schools in the state that is using Q-Comp, a merit pay program for teachers. Charter schools can receive up to $240 per student through Q-Comp for this school year.

The Crisis Nursery says it does not want to evict the school before the end of the academic year, as its own mission is to support at-risk children.

The Crisis Nursery seeks a temporary restraining order to stop misuse of state funds.

It adds that if it is not granted the relief, suing the school for damages would be unrealistic, as the charter school could become bankrupt, which could put the Crisis Nursery into the same situation.

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