What happens when a charter school fails students before the school opens? You wind up with a lot of upset parents and kids, especially when the school was intended to serve 9th and 10th graders. High school is tough enough without finding out six weeks before school begins that your plans have changed.
From the Charlotte Observer:
Carolina STEM Academy, one of 11 Charlotte-area charter schools that had been approved to open in August, notified families this week that there aren’t enough students to make that happen.
“Unfortunately, we are disappointed to share the news that, due to enrollment and continuing difficulties with closing (on the facility), Carolina STEM will be unable to open this year,” a letter from the board of directors said.
Charter schools have great potential, but the closing of Student First Academy with surrounding scandal, and the cancelled opening of Carolina STEM Academy highlight what can go wrong and give a glimpse into the potential uncertainty families face after they sign up to attend a school that does not exist or that lacks proper oversight.
School administrators also feel the bite of uncertainty when charter schools fail or experience delays in opening. Some schools will see a greater increase in enrollment than space and staff will be able to accommodate. Our already overworked and underpaid teachers will face greater challenges, but it is the students who will suffer the most.