Rochester charter school may have to close - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester charter school may have to close


Rochester, Minn. (KTTC) -- Studio Academy, an art based charter school in southwest Rochester may have to close its doors.

It's sponsor organization, Volunteers of America - Minnesota, says it's not renewing the school's contract, citing low academic performance and financial viability. 

Jody Allen Crowe, Studio Academy's Executive Director, says VOA's reasons are unfounded.

"We haven't had to touch any of our 30 percent hold-back from the state at this time" explained Crowe, "and we've also dramatically improved our class rooms and our school environment over the course of the year."

Crowe says the school also increased its attendance from 77 students to 117 this year.

State law does not allow Studio Academy to operate under a different sponsor, if the contract is not renewed "for cause".

So the school will request an informal hearing with VOA.

"We want to have a hearing with the board of directors with VOA because we are authorized by the board of directors. We are not authorized by the individuals making the decision," says Crowe.

If the VOA board members are unwilling to reconsider, Crowe says Studio Academy will take legal action.

"We feel we have met the contract and by them pulling the authorization they are in fact in breach of the contract," says Crowe.

He says Studio Academy may operate under a new sponsor if the "For Cause" tag is taken off the non-renewal notice.

The school's current contract runs through June 30.

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