Gateway Charter School in Ponca knew it was in financial trouble the first day of school in September 2000.
The first open-enrollment charter school in Arkansas needed 40 students to break even, but it only had 13, said Steve Brewer, director of the Ozarks Unlimited Resource Cooperative in Harrison, which oversaw the school.
The school never recovered from its early student shortages and voluntarily surrendered its charter on Aug. 24, leaving in $400,000 in debt…
A recent special report by the Division of Legislative Audit showed Gateway spent $972,376 during its two years in existence, although students didn't start attending until fall 2000. During that period, its revenue was $570,792, leaving a $401,584 deficit…
Brewer said he decided to take the school off life support because it wasn't luring in enough students. And Gateway never recovered from a $180,000 debt it, incurred by renovating the facilities it got from Ponca Bible Camp, Brewer said.
Gateway was supposed take the fourth-,fifth-and sixth-grade students who had fallen behind academically and keep them 24-hours a day, seven days a week for six weeks at a time…
A strong marketing campaign could have helped the school, but it didn't have the money to advertise, Brewer said.
Although Gateway made "good strides" with the students' academic performance, it was too expensive to house them at the school for the six-week session, Greenway said…
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Gateway Charter School (Arkansas)
FIRST CHARTER SCHOOL FAILED, BUT OTHERS HAVE HIGH HOPES; September 17, 2001; Arkansas Business