PALMETTO, Fla. — Richard Corcoran, Florida's top education official, notified the Manatee County School Board that Lincoln Memorial Academy in Palmetto has one week to create a corrective action plan or the state will be getting involved.
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- State revoked educator certificate of school leader on May 13
- As of May, school has reported deficit of more than $250,000
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In a letter sent Tuesday, Education Commissioner Corcoran outlined numerous financial issues at the school.
“The school has budgeted an extraordinary portion of its funds for administrative costs,” the letter states. “Lincoln Memorial Academy budgeted administrative costs of 31 percent of their budget but actually spent 41 percent for these costs."
"When compared to the administrative costs for district schools in Manatee County of approximately 12 percent of the budget, the Lincoln Memorial Academy spending for administrators is not only disproportionate, but it suggests waste, mismanagement, and possibly fraud,” the letter goes on.
District officials said they plan to work closely with Lincoln Memorial Academy as a plan is created. They stated they had no intentions of shutting down the school or converting it back to a traditional public school.
The school’s leader, Eddie Hundley, has had his own set of problems in recent months.
On May 13, the state revoked his educator certificate after an administrative law judge concluded that Hundley knew about a sexual relationship between a student and teacher and then recommended that same teacher to another school.
Due to the revocation, Corcoran confirmed that Hundley cannot be employed in any capacity that requires direct contact with students.
“Lincoln Memorial Academy’s continued employment of Mr. Hundley flies in the face of all our efforts to provide a safe and secure learning environment for our students,” the letter read.
At a town hall meeting hosted at Lincoln Memorial Academy on July 11, Hundley called himself the schools CEO and founder, and stated that if a principal needed to be appointed, he had numerous candidates in the school that could take over that role.
He also stated to the crowded room that part of the financial troubles is due to the fact that the school is being short-changed by the district.
As of May, the school has a deficit of more than $250,000.