State records show that teachers at two Mavericks High public charter schools in Miami-Dade County earned less than $5,000 a year in 2010 and that many did not receive benefits.
According to records submitted to the Florida Department of Education, 14 teachers at the Homestead campus of Mavericks earned $3,350 to $3,877 during the 2009-10 school year. They were listed as full-time employees teaching special education, math, social studies, and other subjects. Only one language-arts teacher earned $52,000
Similarly dismal salaries were reported at the North Miami Beach campus of Mavericks, where ten teachers made $3,500 to $4,100 in 2010. Three of those teachers received benefits, along with two teachers in Homestead.
Tammy Lara, principal at Mavericks High in Homestead, says those salaries are not currently correct. "Our salaries are very competitive to Miami-Dade County public schools," she says.
Lara was not head of the school last year when the reports were submitted and didn't know why the listed salaries were so low. The reports indicate there were at least two other principals of the school between the fall of 2009 and this year, when Lara came onboard.
Mavericks corporate manager Lauren Hollander said she was unfamiliar with the state reports and would have to review them before commenting. The Pulp emailed her copies of the reports last Friday, and she has not yet responded.
The taxpayer-funded, tuition-free Mavericks charter schools target students at risk for dropping out. They are run by a for-profit Fort Lauderdale company, Mavericks in Education Florida, that has eight schools in Florida.
Mavericks students attend classes in four-hour shifts, and most of their time is spent sitting at computers, earning credits through online courses. Teachers are available to assist them and offer one-on-one tutoring.
Two former employees at Mavericks High in Homestead have filed whistleblower lawsuits alleging, among other complaints, that the school is not issuing Florida high school diplomas.
Frank Biden, a lobbyist and spokesman for Mavericks, denies the allegation, saying that the school issues diplomas but that not all students graduate.