Kinston Charter Academy closes its doors after 10 years - WRBL

Kinston Charter Academy closes its doors after 10 years

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On Friday, 189 kids walked the halls of Kinston Charter Academy for the last time.

On Wednesday, the school announced financial issues forced them voluntarily surrender its charter and close its doors. The school’s Chief Operating Officer, Ozie Hall says the board weighed all their options before making the tough decision.

9 On Your Side contacted the North Carolina State Board of Instruction to see what caused the last minute decision. The state says Kinston Charter Academy was placed on financial disciplinary status in March. In June, the school and state board members starting having issues with the school not paying into the state employee’s benefits and retirement plans. The state says those financial issues along with test scores placed the school on a charter revocation list and on the board’s agenda for the September meeting.

Hall says by the start of the school year, the charter school had paid its balance. A debt Hall says the administration believed resolved part of the issue and they believed they could keep their charter.

"We had a committed lender. We had a management company. We had the office of charter schools on Aug. 2nd, indicating to us that everything's fine. So, everything to us is fine. We're broadsided on the {Aug. 21st} when we get his letter,” said Hall.

A letter that stated the school’s charter was in jeopardy and would be up for discussion in September. Hall says it’s negative publicity caused by the state that scared away some of the school’s donors.  

"Now that this is out there, our money shut down. So, once the money shut down the board, is in position to determine whether or not we can have the means to go forward and we didn't,” said Hall.

Hall says the board called an emergency meeting on Wednesday where they made the tough decision to close the school.

Now the students along with 59 staff members are looking for a place to go. School administrators say they have created a transitional team to help assist students and parents find other schools to enroll in. Some students have already enrolled in another charter school in the Kinston; while others are looking to place their student in local public school since the charter school can’t take all of them.

School administrators say the campus will be open next week from 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.. to give parents access to their students records so they can transfer to another school.

Students, parents, and school administrators say they will miss the Kinston Charter Academy because it was more than a school it was family.

Kinston Charter Academy was founded in 2004 and operated in the county for the last nine years.

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A charter school in Lenoir County is closing it's doors this week.

School officials at Kinston Charter Academy tell 9 On Your Side a full staff meeting was held Wednesday to announce the closing. We're told 45-50 employees are losing their jobs Friday.

The charter school has been open for around 10 years.

A news conference will be held Friday to talk about the closure. We'll keep you updated as we learn more.

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