Parents upset after charter school closes

by: Diana Davis Updated:

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - Parents who wanted a Clayton County charter school to remain open lost their fight Wednesday.
 
In February, the state charter school commission said it would shut down Riverdale's Scholarship Academy since the K through grade five school did not meet required academic goals.
 
“The decision we made in February was, and is, the right one,” said Bonnie Holliday, the executive director of the state charter school commission
 
In a hearing before parents at commission headquarters, Holliday added, “In 2013, they were the worst performing elementary school in an already low performing district.”
 
Parents fought the initial announcement hoping that a 1,000-signature petition and appeal would change commissioners' minds.

Christy Gray's daughter is a third-grader. She told Channel 2’s Diana Davis she liked the smaller class sizes.
 
“I think our children deserve the opportunity to remain open,” Gray said.
 
Gray and other parents told commissioners that the school's academic performance improved over the last year.
 
Yvette Gates son is a second-grader and she teaches at Scholars.
 
“Our test scores have come back and our children did extremely well,” Gates said.
 
Parents asked commissioners to give Scholars’ Academy another year to prove itself. Glenn Delk, a lawyer for parents, said the decision to close was made before results from this year's CRCT tests came in.
 
“The improvements have been anywhere from 10 percent to 70 percent in grades three through five. In math and science, the improvement is off the chart,” Delk said.
 
The state said results of those tests are preliminary and unverified. Also, Scholars did not meet the majority of state performance targets.
 
Holliday also said the school cannot account for how it spent some of a $600,000 federal grant.
 
“In the process of our closeout proceedings, Scholars Academy at this point was unable to account for the assets purchased with that money,” Delk said.
 
Friday is the last day of school. Parents told Davis they will either enroll their kids in private school , move out of the county or go back to the public school system .



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