Columbia Sylvan Learning customers will get refunds, owner says

Friday, June 5, 2009 | 4:30 p.m. CDT; updated 5:15 p.m. CDT, Friday, June 5, 2009

COLUMBIA — Columbia Sylvan Learning customers will get their money refunded and receive top priority over creditors, the center's owner said in a news release Thursday.

Stanley Learning Inc., the local franchise of Sylvan Learning Inc., closed its centers in Columbia and Jefferson City last week.

More than $60,000 in refunds has been issued since May 29, Jack Stanley, the company’s president, said in the news release. More refunds are being processed as funds become available and assets are sold, he said.

Earlier this week, Sylvan Learning Inc. issued a news release saying Stanley owes the entity more than $400,000. Stanley said repaying all creditors, including Sylvan, is important to him.

"I want to stress, however, that we will do everything we can to make sure that parents who pre-paid for services have been properly refunded first," Stanley said in the release.

Stanley's centers in Bentonville and Fayetteville, Ark., also closed last week. Stanley said the company has pending sales for the Washington, Mo., and Jonesboro, Ark., centers.

Stanley said in the release he hopes to have these sales finalized by Tuesday. Money from those sales will go toward paying company debts, he said.

“It’s unfortunate, but it isn't uncommon to be in that situation when you have a business that isn’t profitable,” Stanley said.

Attempts to reach Stanley for further comment were unsuccessful.

Customers can contact Stanley at 875-8631 for refunds and more information.


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