Last Spring, Student First Academy closed after only 8 months of formal operation as a charter school reportedly because of financial mismanagement. Today, one of 11 new charter schools in Mecklenburg County, Concrete Roses STEM Academy, has told parents it is shutting its doors after only four weeks of operation. The Charlotte Observer is reporting the suspected reason is insolvency, however, there is no indication it is due to mishandling of funds.
Concrete Roses STEM was one of 11 charter schools approved by the state a year ago for the 2014-15 school year. At the time of its application, the school’s anticipated enrollment was one of the largest for proposed charters in Mecklenburg, with 2,400 students in grades K-12 expected by its 10th year of operation. The school said it projected to open in its first year with 560 students in grades K-9, according to state records. The school received funding from the state for 300 students. Only 126 students ultimately enrolled, Medley said. The school did not report its expenditures for the months of July and August, in violation of state law, according to a letter the state charter school office sent to Concrete Roses STEM on Sept. 17. The school had already spent $285,170 of its allotment from the state. It had been authorized to spend $479,084. The letter said the school would not be allowed to spend any more money until the school’s enrollment was resubmitted and funding recalculated. Based on its current attendance, the school would have been eligible for significantly less money.
Disappointing to say the least.