More fallout over private school's bankruptcy

Posted by: Bryan Henry - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Taylor Road Academy math and science teacher Joe Hanlon is not happy.

"I am very angry because I've my given my life to this institution for the last 10 years," Hanlon.

Bert Bodiford, the dad of a sophomore, troubled.

"A lot of emotions involved because this is family," Bodiford said.

Bankruptcy court records show Taylor Road Academy has debts between $101,000 to $500,000. Assets listed up to $50,000.

And not only that. The bankruptcy papers show the school owes up to 99 creditors.

WSFA 12 News found co-owner Bill Barry at his east Montgomery home Tuesday afternoon. Barry declined to go on camera. He says his attorney advised not to talk but ended up talking off camera. Mr. Barry says the student based dropped out, meaning the school had fewer students enrolled and Barry blamed all of it on the economy.

Hanlon strongly disagrees saying the school held it steady at around 250 students for years.

The school's website shows yearly tuition of $4,300 for the lower grades and $5,300 for the upper grades, 7 through 12.

Bodiford is fully aware businesses fail everyday but can't understand why in his view the school wasn't more forthcoming about its financial health. Bodiford says the school owes him $200.00 and Hanlon will probably miss a paycheck. Teachers and parents say they were stunned by the sudden closure of Taylor Road Academy.

"I think anyone with an accounting background and accountability would have been able to look ahead and say 'hey, we're going to have to close in 6 months,' Bodiford said.

"I will miss one paycheck but there are teachers who will miss 5 paychecks because they normally get paid through the summer," said Hanlon.

Meantime, there are still the questions about student transcripts.. will teachers ever get paid and be able to get their personal stuff out of the school. Bill Barry says those issues will be addressed at the bankruptcy court hearing on June 26 in Federal Court in Montgomery.

Taylor Road Academy had around 250 students, 25 teachers and Bodiford says he'll probably enroll his daughter in a public school in the fall.

The academy was founded in 1994.

The Alabama Independent School Association reportedly has been informed about the school's Chapter 7 bankruptcy status but hasn't responded to calls from WSFA 12 News.

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