SARASOTA COUNTY — During its regular meeting Tuesday evening, members of the Sarasota County School Board will hear an update on the contention between Imagine School at North Port and its parent company, Virginia-based Imagine Schools Inc.
Imagine School at North Port’s five-member governing board and principal Justin Matthews decided to split from the charter school’s parent company Feb. 15, and to create a new school at the Toledo Blade Boulevard campus — Sarasota Preparatory School. Matthews and the governing board claimed the campus was not receiving any benefits for the nearly $1 million paid annually to Imagine Inc. for managing the school. Imagine Inc., in turn, filed a civil lawsuit against them seeking damages in excess of $15,000, and an injunction to remove Matthews. But on Tuesday, a 12th Judicial Circuit judge in Sarasota ordered he could stay. Although a new governing board was created by Imagine Inc. last week, the local school filed an injunction to keep the old board. Saying he didn’t want to see students disrupted, the judge ruled Thursday that the old board and the principal will remain in place until the end of the school year, May 31.
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