SPONSOR REVOKES CHARTER FOR FORT WAYNE, IND., SCHOOL, July 20, 2004, The Indianapolis Star
A charter school plagued by low enrollment and financial problems will be shut down this month -- the first time one of the alternative public schools has been ordered closed in Indiana.
Urban Brightest Community Academy in Fort Wayne lost the support of its sponsor, Ball State University, on Monday. A hearing panel upheld the decision of acting university President Beverley Pitts to revoke the elementary school's charter.
"The violations were so broad and so deep, we didn't feel it was in the best interests of those enrolled in the school to begin the next school year," said Marty Dezelan, Ball State's director of charter schools…
The Fort Wayne school enrolled 93 students in Grades K-5 last school year but had about 30 withdraw during the year. Only 42 intended to enroll again; 35 others applied.
In addition to low enrollment, the school had problems with management, curriculum and money, university officials said.
It will close with $649,000 in unpaid bills and debt -- including a $300,000 loan from a state fund supported by taxpayers and available to all charters…
Dezelan said Urban Brightest officials did not address Ball State's concerns after an April 2003 visit or take up the university's offer to help.
The school did not teach the curriculum it had described, nor did it give adequate training to teachers.
It also did not submit reports to the Indiana Department of Education on time and did not offer proper services to special education students, he added…