State committee upholds decision to shut down Children’s Village Academy

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – A State School Board panel voted to uphold last month’s decision to close a Kinston charter school.

In a special meeting this morning, the Education Innovation and Charter Schools Committee unanimously voted to not renew the charter for Children’s Village Academy when it expires at the end of the month.

The Kinston school is appealing a decision last month by the North Carolina Charter Schools Review Board to close Lenoir County’s only charter school after it came under scrutiny for allegations concerning the school’s operations.

The charter school, with two campuses and 140 students, is said to have a history of fiscal problems. It is the oldest charter school in the state.

The school has yet to pay back $152,050.13 in federal grant funds that the state says was improperly spent, while officials claim they have found hundreds of thousands of more dollars in questionable grant spending.

A lawyer for the school admitted it has made mistakes, pledged it would improve its compliance shortcomings, make changes to its board, and pay back the owned money by the end of the month if its charter was renewed.

But the committee today voted to uphold the decision not to renew, with one member saying today was the first time they heard of the changes the school is recommending to fix the problem.

The full State Board of Education will vote on the appeal at its meeting on Thursday.