More than 3,500 students will be displaced when a network of St. Louis charter schools run by Virginia-based Imagine Schools Inc. is shuttered in a closure so massive it may be unprecedented nationally.
Todd Ziebarth of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the closure was "definitely" the largest he knew of.
Will be updated.
Updated at 4:44 p.m. with additional reporting.
Updated 2:59 p.m. with additional comment from Imagine's executive vice president.
The Missouri Board of Education voted Tuesday to close six charter schools in St. Louis run by Virginia-based Imagine Schools Incorporated.
The schools will close at the end of this school year.
Imagine's executive vice president, Jason Bryant, calls the decision disappointing and says the company is exploring its options.
Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says Missouri Baptist University will relinquish its sponsorship of four charter school systems in St. Louis.
The university’s sponsorship included six schools with the Imagine Academies that had come under fire for poor student performance and deficit spending.
The Missouri State Board will review Missouri Baptist University’s authorization to sponsor charter schools next month.
MBU holds four charters, which include six Imagine Academy schools in St. Louis.
The board will hold a public hearing April 16 in Jefferson City and is expected to a make a decision the next day.
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education spokeswoman Michelle Clark says the board has never revoked a sponsor or even held a public hearing.
Two under-performing St. Louis charter schools will close at the end of the school year.
James French, chairman of Missouri Baptist University's Education Division, which sponsors the schools, announced Monday that Imagine Academy of Academic Success and Imagine Academy of Cultural Arts, will close.
The university, which began sponsoring the schools in 2006, said neither school was living up to academic performance standards, was financially sound, or was showing signs of improvement.
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