Children’s Village Academy appeals state closure order

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – A troubled Eastern Carolina charter school is appealing a decision by state education leaders to shut it down.

A hearing will be held on June 3rd for Children’s Village Academy’s appeal to the State Board of Education.

In a unanimous vote on May 6th, the North Carolina Charter Schools Review Board decided not to renew the charter for the Kinston school.

Children’s Village has been under scrutiny since allegations arose late last year concerning the school’s operation.

The charter school has two campuses, one for pre-K through 5th, and the other for 6th through 8th grades.

State staff said the school has had a history of fiscal problems. The school had until May 8th to pay back $152,000 in federal grant funds that the state says was improperly spent, while officials claim they have found hundreds of thousands of more dollars in grant spending that is questionable.

WITN is waiting to hear if that May 8th deadline was met or not.

During the hearing earlier this month, it was revealed that in March, some 40% of the employees at Children’s Village were reclassified as independent contract employees, reducing their pay by 20% and eliminating many benefits without an official board vote.

“It just doesn’t seem that the school has the right infrastructure to get better,” said Charter Schools Review Board member Eric Sanchez. “It doesn’t seem like they’re owning their mistakes, doesn’t seem like they’re trying to improve it. It’s sad because when you look at the last two years they arguably could have had their best academic years, but yet they’re not just running the place that would warrant this type of trust with public funds.”

Children’s Village has 140 students and is one of the oldest charter schools in the state, having opened in 1997.