Here are two stories from Indianapolis on failed charter schools. Is this happening in your area too, or is this an Indiana specific phenomenon?
A near-westside charter middle school is set to close Oct. 6 after notifying families last week that the school did not have enough enrollment to sustain its finances.
Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis, a charter middle school in the Hawthorne neighborhood on the west side of Indianapolis that serves grades 6-8, opened in 2018.
In a letter to parents dated Sept. 14, the school’s executive director Robert Marshall said that the school currently does not have enough enrollment to “support and maintain the financial health of the organization.”
While it’s rare to see a school close mid-year, it’s not uncommon for charters to close their doors. Out of the nearly 100 charters that have opened in the county since 2001, when the state passed a law allowing charters, 31 have closed. More than half of those, including HIM by HER, closed because of financial concerns and or low enrollment, an IndyStar analysis found.
And while no one likes school closures, charter school advocates often highlight closures as a sign that the accountability process is working.
“It’s hard to say this when you get a school that closes in the middle of the year, but charter schools closing is a feature of the system, not a bug,” Marcie Carter-Brown, the director for the Indiana Charter School Network, told IndyStar.
But others say these closures can be a disruptive force for a group of students that are already vulnerable to low student outcomes, particularly students of color.
Why aren’t charter schools required to have enough money at the start of a school year to fund the entire year - educational escrow?