The Foundation for Florida Virtual School is turning over financial records to the school in response to a court order, as the struggle over who controls the foundation continues.
Florida Virtual School in late March sued the foundation, which it created in 2011 to raise money for the school, alleging fiscal mismanagement and violation of public-records and open-meetings laws.
The foundation’s attorney, Michael Beaudine, on Tuesday said it would comply with Orange Circuit Judge Lisa Munyon’s ruling last week that it is subject to public-records law. But the foundation contends that last year it provided documents, including an audit, to the school that showed the foundation was running well.
In court documents, the foundation says the school never told it that it had to comply with the Sunshine Law. It also asserts that it is not subject to that law.
The school, however, says the foundation is covered by the law. “We don’t have to tell them,” said Jon Kaney, a First Amendment attorney representing the school. “As a board, they’re responsible for knowing it.”
The foundation chose several new board members late last year, but the school did not approve them. Instead, it selected other people to serve on the foundation board and in January froze the foundation’s bank account.
In its suit, the school contends legislation that created the foundation gives the school oversight authority. It also says the foundation would lose its tax-exempt status if the school does not approve expenditures. The foundation contends it is an independent entity.
The dispute has shut down the foundation, and its four employees, who were paid by the school, are out of a job.
The parties also clash on the interpretation of the bylaws and whether the foundation president should be reinstated.
The foundation raised has $801,406 since 2012. More than $300,000 in donations is in limbo while the conflict remains unresolved.
Original article here.