Former teacher speaks out amid Lincoln Memorial Academy controversy

Updated: Jul. 18, 2019 at 6:42 PM EDT
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PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - A former teacher at Lincoln Memorial Academy is speaking out, claiming the school owes her thousands of dollars of unpaid salary. This comes as more controversy surrounds the financially troubled charter school in Manatee County.

“How much would you say they owe you in total?” ABC 7′s Francesca Constantini asked the former teacher.

“A little over $10,000 in wages,” she said.

The former Lincoln Memorial Academy teacher says she is on a growing list of people and agencies owed money by the school. She’s talking to ABC7 just a day after the Florida Department of Education sent letters to the Manatee County school district, demanding a quick plan to get the charter school back on track. The school is currently operating at a $700,000 deficit.

District officials say they’ve been trying to work with the school’s founder and CEO but nothing has changed. So far, they do know three teachers have not been paid.

“When I chose to resign, it was for better opportunities in my subject area, it was all amicable and they understood it and in my exit interview, I didn’t get any warning that I will suddenly stop getting paychecks,” she said.

The teacher, who didn’t want share her identity, says she’s been trying to get answers since June.

“I don’t know why they didn’t say anything on my exit interview to give me a heads up,” she said.

She claims this happened once she didn’t renew her contract.

“If it was money that I had not already earned, then I’ll be like ‘OK I understand that.’ But since I already earned my salary by going to work every day, fulfilling the mission of [Lincoln Memorial Academy] and teaching all the great students there, I’m not understanding why I’m suddenly cut off,” she said.

ABC7 tried to reach to officials at Lincoln Memorial Academy on Thursday afternoon for comment, but have not been able to get through before airtime.

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