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State Shuts Down Unlicensed Macon Day Care | Education

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State Shuts Down Unlicensed Macon Day Care

The state says a Macon private school is running an unlicensed day care and must shut down within a week.

This week, parents with children at Progressive Christian Academy's day care got a letter from the school telling them their preschool program ends next Friday.

Parents have one week to make new arrangements.

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An Oct. 31 letter from the state's Bright from the Start agency says they'll take the school to court if the preschool doesn't close voluntarily.

The state's decision does not affect the academy's K-8 private elementary and middle school.

On Thursday, the school's owners sent a letter home to parents stating that they intend to "respect and obey" the state order.

The school is owned by a company in Florida. Spokesman E. T. Strickland says there's a state hearing on the matter next Tuesday that would clear up some questions.

Meanwhile, Progressive Christian Academy is defending itself on two other fronts.

The school's previous owner, Betty Tolbert, has filed a lawsuit arguing that Strickland's company deceived her and took the school over from her during foreclosure.

This week's letter to parents says her claims "have not basis in fact and lack merit."

Strickland wrote that the owners will be vindicated when the lawsuit proceeds.

Parents have complained that Progressive is run by a Florida couple who allegedly have a criminal record.

On Friday, Strickland told 13WMAZ's Tom George that he had no reason to believe that there was anything that would prevent Christine Hawkins from running a school.

By email, Bright from the Start spokesman Reg Griffin declined comment, saying the school was still under investigation. Agency investigators visited the school last month to look into a personnel matter, but have not explained further.


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