At least one Ohio school impacted by the abrupt bankruptcy of Discovery Tours will still be able to take their field trip, thanks to the help of their local community, but the travel company’s closure is affecting students across the state.
The Columbus Board of Education voted Friday to accept more than $20,000 in donations from local education groups, firefighters, police officers and others for students at Ridgeview Middle School.
Seventy-four students paid nearly $700 each to Discovery Tours for a school trip to Chicago planned for next week, but Tuesday, the company closed its doors and filed for bankruptcy, canceling the tour.
“Whatever you hear about Columbus City Schools, this is how we come together for our students and our families,” Columbus Board of Education President Gary Baker said before the vote Friday.
But Ridgeview students aren’t alone. The bankruptcy is also affecting students in Chardon, Mentor and Hudson in Northeast Ohio.
In a bankruptcy filing last week, Discovery Tours said it owed 5,600 Ohio families anywhere from $200 to $900 for trip deposits.
The company has spent more than three decades organizing school tours to places like D.C., New York and Chicago.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Discovery Tours Friday.
According to a press release, the lawsuit accuses the company of violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act by, among other things, failing to deliver promised services.