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State Approves Voluntary Relinquishment of Charter

5:28 PM, Apr 4, 2013   |    comments
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Winston-Salem, NC -- More than 100 students are finding out they won't be able to go back to their school next year.

After years of financial problems and declining enrollment, The STEAM Academy of Winston-Salem is closing it doors permanently.

The State Board of Education put this school on financial disciplinary status a couple months ago. After the STEAM Board of Directors got the warning, they decided they just couldn't turn things around and decided to voluntarily relinquish their charter to the state. Thursday, the state approved their request.

"The last three years, their expenditures have exceeded revenues every year by six figures, and last year it was by a little bit more than $900,000. So the school was in a deep financial hold and this board, they did make the right decision," explained Dr. Joel Medley, Director, Office of Charter Schools.

Right now, state documents show the school owes $704,449. But their problems aren't only financial. Enrollment has dwindled from nearly 400 students to just 102 in the past six years.

"Part of the reason for charter schools have come about is that if a school doesn't perform, they close. So this is something that is, it's not a pleasant situation but it's a part of what charter schools are," explained Medley.

Although this school is closing at the end of the school year, the state is not saving money.

The money will follow the students to their new schools.

 

As for the building and assets, the school may have to liquidate to pay back some of its creditors. That won't be decided until the closeout process which won't happen until after their last day of school, June 30th.

State officials were also considering revoking the license of another charter school in Kinston. That decision has been put off until next month.

 

WFMY News 2

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