Prep school in Florida bounces pay checks

BRADENTON — Teachers at Bradenton Preparatory Academy say they have been getting paychecks only sporadically for months and are owed thousands of dollars in back pay.

Some have received checks that have bounced or payment was stopped, they told the Herald. Officials at the school, which is facing foreclosure, also have deducted premiums from the checks for health insurance coverage they no longer have, employees say.

Some employees say they have finally stopped reporting for work until they are paid overdue wages.

"It's not a good environment," said Erin Geraghty-Balent, a high school English and health teacher who has refused to work since Monday because she is owed about $6,500. "The teachers are so stressed, thinking of unpaid bills and their family. How can they concentrate?"

School officials referred all questions about the school's financial health to Bradenton Prep's attorney, Edward Vogler II, who acknowledged the payroll problems but said the school is close to resolving its financial issues through new majority owner Hendrik Lamprecht.

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