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Schools respond after FDOE suspends scholarships over accusations of "Chinese Communist Party" ties

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Education issued a statement that they have found four schools to have ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

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Governor Ron DeSantis directed the FDOE to suspend school choice scholarships to the following schools: the Lower and Upper Sagemont Preparatory Schools in Weston, Parke House Academy in Winter Park and Park Maitland School.

According to the statement, the schools’ “connections constitute an imminent threat to the health, safety, and welfare of these school’s students and the public.”

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However, the Department of Education did not provide additional information about the nature of those connections.

The FDOE is now working to help students participating in the school voucher program find and enroll in eligible schools near them.

According to its websites, Sagemont Preparatory Schools and the Park Maitland School are owned by the Spring Education Group and are controlled by Primavera Holdings Limited. The schools said Chinese people living in Hong Kong own the investment firm and its affiliates.

Channel 9 received the following statement from the spokesperson for Park Maitland Schools and the Sagemont Preparatory School:

“We have received notice from the State that our eligibility for Florida Choice school funds has been suspended. We were not contacted in advance and are seeking more information regarding the basis for this decision. In the meantime, we will be working directly with our families to ensure they can remain enrolled in our school. We are regularly acknowledged as one of the best private schools in our area and have a track record of delivering outstanding educational outcomes, which is why parents choose us. Our schools are locally run, abide by local, state and federal laws, and do not have ties to any government or political party, either foreign or domestic. Our curriculum is accredited, standards-based and academically rigorous.”

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