Parents fighting the decision to close their kids' charter schoo - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Parents fighting the decision to close their kids' charter school

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Student First Academy Charter school in West Charlotte became a charter school just this year and already it is closing. School leaders say finances are the reason for the closure. The school is about $600,000 in debt.

The last day of class will be April 11.

"They are upset," Student Sean McCray said. "As well - we saw my teacher crying."

State Charter officials tell WBTV they were alerted of trouble with the school back in February. Problems ranged from finances to claim students weren't getting a quality education. Parents claim the last administration is to blame.

A new principal came on board and parents thought things would improve. The principal was to give state leaders a plan on how to move the school forward, but that conversation never happened.

"We feel robbed," Parent Kimyatta Evans told WBTV. "They did not give us a chance."
Instead of that meeting, The Student First Academy school board voted unanimously to give up the charter school.

"The parents were not given any options," Student First Charter Academy PTA President Arnita Alexander said. "We weren't given any warning. They just said April 11th is it."

Parents are now looking at options for their kids - options that would keep Student First Academy alive. They are talking to lawyers to see what can be done to keep the charter school up and running. They are also talking to other local charter schools to see if they can absorb Student First Academy student population, and they are considering fundraising to help pull the school out of financial trouble.

"Can we ask people can you help us," Alexander said. "This is not about the parents, but about the children."

Charlotte - Mecklenburg school district (CMS) says it is ready to welcome the displaced students and says schools have a plan to receive them. Parents say they don't want their kids to go back to CMS.

"We don't want our kids to go back to CMS," Evans said. "My daughters are heartbroken, heartbroken. They love this school. I have a CMS school within two miles of my house and my child doesn't want to go back to CMS."

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