New Mecklenburg County charter school closing after only four weeks

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.

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Comments

Let there be more!

Think of all the experimentation we can do. We'll quickly learn what doesn't work, and then do that again and again.

Only 126 enrolled. I'm going

Only 126 enrolled.
I'm going to Georgia early next week, and hoping to learn something about their charter schools. Will keep you posted.

One thing I'm interested in re: Georgia schools

Has anyone there seen any kind of momentum toward what I call "small schools."

They could be charters, or not, but in any case, they'd be smaller. Maybe led by teachers who want to get out of bigger schools.

Such schools would have to be exempt from a lot of stuff like sports, gyms, fancy cafeterias, etc., but maybe they could be magnets in some other area.

I feel like so many of our schools have become factory farms, and wish they could simply be smaller. More of them, and smaller.

Just thinking out loud.

Where's the money?

The report said they received allotment for 300 students. Who exactly is minding the store, making sure that charters' enrollments match the allotments? Where is the oversight? Who's looking out for the taxpayers?

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR