With only two days’ notice, parents got word that their children are being forced out of their school building.
The short notice spawned little patience from parents at the Inner Harbor East Academy for Young Scholars, which is run by Sojourner-Douglass College and the East Baltimore Community Corp. The school, which has about 300 students, is being forced to move out and into another building across town.
To say parents are upset about the sudden closing may be an understatement.
“As of yesterday, I found out that the school would be closing on Thursday,” said Schneika Brown, a parent. “I have to stop what I am doing to focus on my child’s transportation to get back and forth from school, and I have to prepare him for the transition.”
“I can’t believe it. I’m in shock, I’m in shock. I can’t believe it. How can they just put the kids out like that in the middle end of the year?” said Dawn Wells, a parent.
Parents were under the impression their children would be able to stay in the current building until June, which is when the school was set to close for good, due in part to financial problems.
“This is a family environment. It’s a small setting. It’s very good. I like the curriculum and everything,” said Chanell Praileau, a parent.
City school officials had already made plans to cancel the charter school’s contract in June but said the operators’ money problems were starting to affect children.
“We thought they had the capacity, that they were OK to finish the end of this school year, but their financial problems got worse and so there was a problem with them paying their utility bill,” said Alison Perkins-Cohen, with Baltimore City Public Schools.
In a letter sent to parents, Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Gregory Thornton said he had hoped any financial challenges would be resolved.
“That is not the case. In recent weeks, the challenges have become more serious, and the operators have been unable to pay their bills. As a result, the heat and hot water at the school will soon be turned off, making the building unacceptable for use beyond the end of this week,” Thornton wrote.
Students are being moved to the former William C. March Middle School almost 2 miles away on North Wolfe Street. On short notice, school officials said they’re working on a plan to get students to the new location.
WBAL-TV 11 News tried to contact Sojourner-Douglas College for a comment but has yet to receive a response.
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