Cross-Cultural Academy of Arts & Technology

State officials scrambled Friday to salvage the rest of the school year for students at a small Hartford charter school that will close its doors Monday because it has run out of money.

Officials of the Cross-Cultural Academy of Arts & Technology, an experimental school that opened last fall, told parents this week the school could no longer afford to pay its teachers and would be closing with six weeks left in the regular school year…

The Cross-Cultural Academy -- an arts-oriented program that relied on collaborations with local and regional museums, theaters and other institutions -- ran into budget problems related to busing, special education, rent and other costs, said Augustine Cofrancesco, one of the school's founders.

``For eight or nine months we made a difference,'' Cofrancesco said, ``but financially it was just too much for us. ... The needs of our students were such that we had to have small class sizes and had to have aides,'' Cofrancesco said. That, however, also strained the budget.

``We were trying to run a Cadillac program on what it costs to run a Ford,'' he said.

In addition, the school, which gets a per-pupil grant from the state, could not enroll enough students to support itself. The school had hoped for as many as 100 students but opened with only about half that number. By this week, it had only 35 students…

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