Schools Without Rules: An Orlando Sentinel Investigation

Agape Christian Academy took $5.6 million in state-backed scholarships during the past five years as the private school repeatedly violated the few rules that govern Florida’s growing scholarship programs.

Former employees, parents, students and public records tell the story of a school that submitted falsified fire safety inspections, hired people with criminal records and didn’t pay some of its teachers — all while relying on state scholarships that pay private school tuition for children from low-income families and those with special needs.

Michelange Bertrand, who started working at Agape in 2003 as a math teacher and later became principal, said students used hand-me-down textbooks — some dating to the Bill Clinton presidency — after public schools moved on to new versions. And owners Ingrid and Richard Bishop, he said, rebuffed his requests to buy laptops or tablets for classrooms.

Read More →