KINSTON, LENOIR COUNTY - The Board of Directors for Kinston Charter Academy held a news conference to explain the decision for closing down the school.
According to the Academy's CEO and Principal, Ozzie Lee Hall, Jr., the school's problems were financially driven. He claims the Board of Directors got their first warning on August 2nd, and a letter notifying them they could have their charter revoked on the 21st.
Hall says the State Department of Public Instruction kept money from the school. He says their business and finance division filed an inaccurate report and when the report was made public, lenders who would have loaned money to the school backed out.
"The financial and business division created the school's cash flow problems and subsequently used it to try to cause the revocation of the school's charter," said Hall.
Other board members were on hand. "I extend a heartfelt good luck to all of the parents and I hope you'll be able to help your children along the way," said Linda McKnight, an Academy Board Member.
James Medley, Director of North Carolina Charter Schools, says the board was presented with information in March saying they were not financially stable enough to run the school.
Leaders of the Kinston Charter Academy have announced that the school will be closed permanently due to financial problems.
According to a release from Principal Ozie Lee Hall Jr. and Chariman of the Board Demyra McDonald-Hall, the school will be closed to students starting Friday due to "the school's lack of financial resources and means to continue operations."
The school decided Wednesday to surrender the charter to the state according to officials with the Office of Charter Schools in Raleigh.
Parents were notified of the closing on Wednesday. Some parents were upset Thursday about how little time they had to get their children into another school.
"They've been going their since kindergarten," said Kabrina Becton, mother of three students who attend Kinston Charter Academy. "This is all they know. Then to be uprooted like this all of the sudden, when I feel like we should have been notified [Wednesday] when they found out."
Current events withstanding, Becton said she has always had a good experience with the school.
Leaders of Kinston Charter Academy are recommending parents to enroll students at Children's Village Academy, located at 701 N. Adkins St. in Kinston. The school serves grades K-8.
Kinston Charter Academy will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. beginning Monday, Sept. 9 to help parents in transitioning their children to another school.
The Kinston Charter Academy's Board of Directors is scheduled to hold a news conference at noon on Friday to discuss the surrendering of the school's charter.
However, the director for North Carolina Office of Charters Schools, Joel Medley, said he agrees with the school's decision to close early. Medley said it would be easier for students to switch schools after two weeks rather than in the middle of the school year.
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