Pinnacle Schools ends several programs in connection with Huntsville City Schools during ongoing dispute

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Thursday, Pinnacle Schools CEO Karen Lee confirmed the closure of several Pinnacle programs in connection with Huntsville City Schools.

She says the High Five, Credit Recovery, Administrative Promotion, Excel, and 30 Day Transition programs are over because the company hasn’t been paid for its services to the school system.

Karen Lee, CEO of Pinnacle School in Huntsville

Karen Lee, CEO of Pinnacle Schools in Huntsville

“We can not indefinitely fund programs I was asked to develop, during a contract dispute over whether we will be paid for our services,” explained Lee. “We can not continue without being paid.”

School leaders have said they are researching Pinnacle services regarding invoices about the APP Program, a controversial program the school system has since ended. They have not yet voted to pay the invoices. The school system has since begun services similar to what APP provided, in-house.

“My team is investigating the facts of whether or not the contract between us and this company shows over billing. I have concerns about the money that we have paid,” Interim Superintendent Tom Drake said at the school board’s last work session.

“Our services were based on agreed-upon prices,” Lee told WHNT News 19 Thursday. “We provided excellent services, at a cost savings to the district. We’ve been a long-term vendor.”

“They believe in one thing and I will share with you, we look at it a different way,” Drake said last week.

Lee said 100 students are affected by the closure. Parents of affected students tell WHNT News 19 it’s upsetting, because kids are working hard and trying to get somewhere only to be stopped suddenly. They were given a letter that WHNT News 19 has obtained, explaining the issue and signed by Pinnacle leaders.

As far as we know, the RAISE program is not included in the closures because this was the only program written into a contract between Huntsville City Schools and Pinnacle Schools.

WHNT News 19 is expecting to hear the school board’s side of the issue at tonight’s board work session and meeting. Refresh the page and stay tuned to WHNT News 19 for more updates as this story develops.