• Charter school closes, principal gets $519,000


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - North Star High School, a charter school, was forced to shut down by the Orange County School District in June because of failing test scores.

    Despite that, the principal, Kelly Young, received a check for $519,000, which was 85 percent of her remaining contract.

    Young made $305,000 a year as principal of the school, which is more than the salary of the superintendent of Orange County Schools. And she's still being paid $8,000 a month as part of her severance package.

    "It's truly an outrage. I'm a taxpayer, just like your viewers are, and I care where my tax dollars go and how they're spent," said Orange County School Board Chair Bill Sublette.

    Sublette has pushed for caps on charter salaries, management fees and lease payments. But state law only allows local districts to provide oversight.

    The charters are regulated by their own boards.

    State Sen. David Simmons and State Rep. Scott Plakon are calling for a state investigation.

    "Are you all committed to giving the local school district or the Florida Department of Education, at the very least, more oversight?" WFTV reporter Daralene Jones asked Plakon.

    "Well, I think I would like to address this one right now. This is outrageous, but it certainly opens up a lot of questions that we should take a look at," said Plakon.

    WFTV wasn't able to locate Kelly Young Thursday, but her attorney did speak with Jones over the phone.

    "People might look at that and believe it's a large amount of money and question it, but in my opinion, it's legal under the current charter school statutory program," said attorney Usher Brown.

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