Last March, Larry Nagengast with WDDE wrote a very good article on Innovative Schools. It is no longer on the WDDE website, but a pdf of it is floating around on the internet. In this article, which delved into many things with Innovative Schools, Nagengast wrote:
But Delaware Met, like many charters, did not have the funds to purchase the building outright.
According to Swanson and Childs, Innovative Schools approached the Charter Schools Development Corporation (CSDC), a nonprofit based in the Washington, D.C., area that finance and develops charter school sites and had an interest in entering the Delaware market. Innovative Schools contributed $1 million to CSDC, which then purchased the building from the state. (The actual purchase price was not given on New Castle County property records.) CSDC is leasing the building back to Innovative Schools, which is subleasing it to Delaware Met.
The leasing arrangement, Swanson says, provides a measure of protection for CSDC in the event Delaware Met does not succeed because Innovative Schools, as a charter manager, would be in a position to secure another school as a tenant to use the space.
The New Castle County property records shows it purchased the building from the state for $10.00. But this website says that for all the sales of this building, so that can’t be correct. Why would Innovative Schools “contribute” $1 million in 2012 to a company that then bought the building for Delaware Met, and then Innovative Schools subleases it to Delaware Met? Looks like that leasing arrangement was a good idea for CSDC. Too bad there is a moratorium on any new charters until 2017 or so. This is going to be VERY interesting to watch. More to come, and I’m pretty sure there may be some more mainstream coverage of this in the next day or two… Meanwhile, I just hope all of this is not too toxic for these students who have been shuffled around Wilmington charters…