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Brazilian education firm files federal lawsuit against MU

A Brazilian education firm that had an agreement with the University of Missouri filed a lawsuit last month in federal court that claims the university sent them surprise invoices and breached their contract.

High School Servicos Educacionais, which enrolls Brazilian students in a pre-college program through MU called Mizzou K-12 Online, claimed in the lawsuit that the university sent the firm “surprise” invoices exceeding $5 million after the firm had already paid MU more than $4.5 million from 2015-18, court documents said.

High School Servicos Educacionais said it told the university it did not owe that money and that the firm should meet with university officials to further discuss the invoice. Mizzou K-12 then allegedly sent a letter to the firm saying their agreement would be terminated starting Feb. 14, 2020 even though the agreement was set to go through June 2020.

The firm claims that Mizzou K-12, Tanya Haeussler and John March, who work for Mizzou K-12, knowingly went around High School Servicos Educacionais and tried to converse with Brazilian schools individually, which the firm claims was a breach of contract.

The court documents said there are more than 4,000 students enrolled in the program.

High School Servicos Educacionais is asking the court to allow all students currently enrolled in the program to graduate, according to the court documents. They are also asking for more than $75,000 in damages.

“We disagree with the claims in the lawsuit, but will wait to make any further comments on the case until the trial begins,” said MU spokesman Christian Basi.

“The non-compliance of Mizzou K-12’s obligations jeopardizes the future of the currently active 4,600 Brazilian students enrolled in the collaborative program offered by HSE and Mizzou K-12,” said attorneys for High School Servicos Educacionais.

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