East Charlotte school suddenly closes, forcing parents to find new schools for children

Families scrambling after school abruptly closes

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - An east Charlotte private school announced its closure just days before students were to return from winter break.

Legacy Preparatory School sent out a letter to families Friday informing them the school would close and would not re-open. Students had been expected to return to class Tuesday.

Principal Stacey Rose told WBTV funding from an investor fell through and forced the school to close.

The school formerly operated as the charter Charlotte Learning Academy. In March, the State Board of Education found it didn’t meet growth requirements and had a failing score, and voted to not renew its charter.

The school closed over the summer.

It re-opened as a private school under a different name, Legacy Preparatory School, after an investor approached the school, Rose said. It remained in the same building as the former charter.

“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Rose said. “It’s devastating for all of us.”

Rose says she is working on notifying parents of surrounding schools to help make accommodations for the former Legacy Preparatory students.

In the meantime, families we spoke to spent Monday picking up school records from the former school building.

Families say Rose and the teachers at Legacy Prep were always devoted to the students.

“There’s been times that the bus has broken down and [Rose] sent a Lyft to come and pick the kids up to take them to school, so we wouldn’t have to worry about taking time out of our schedules [on short notice]," said one parent.

According to Rose, nearly all of the school’s 145 students are low-income, and the school provided transportation for the students.

According to the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority, 135 students at Legacy Prep received opportunity scholarships, which are funds awarded to the school on the student’s behalf to allow them to attend a private school. The data shows Legacy Prep would have received $283,500 this year from the state to fund students to go there. But despite the total funds, Rose says the school had to close its doors.

LINK: Schools in North Carolina receiving money from the state Education Assistance Authority

The building located at 800 Briar Creek Road, is owned by Park Ministries Inc, but houses the school inside. Its one of the building of the Park Expo and Conference Center.

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