Arizona Board Votes To Revoke Charter Of Hastily-Closed, Bankrupt School
Last month, a Mesa charter school closed its doors less than 24 hours before the school year was supposed to start.
In their monthly meeting Monday, board members unanimously approved an intent to revoke Hillcrest Academy’s charter.
In July, the school sent an email to parents saying the school was closed, a day before school was supposed to start. Earlier correspondence had led the state to believe the school was opening for the year. Hillcrest received a state payment in July of about $75,000, which has yet to be repaid after the school went into bankruptcy.
“I know that our attorneys are working with Hillcrest to ensure that money is reimbursed to the state,” Arizona Charter Board Director Whitney Chapa said.
The school also had poorly kept school records, which board staff organized and created after some students were found not to have any records at all.
One member raised the question of whether past financial problems, which Hillcrest had, would be a basis to revoke a charter. Chapa said there is no state statute mandating those steps, so that would not happen.
Chapa said the school's student records were poorly maintained.
“They were in disarray, were not appropriately filed, didn’t have files for all the students they have served and didn’t have what would be required in each of those files,” she said.
The school had almost 200 students enrolled when it closed.