State review board votes not to renew charter for Children’s Village Academy

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – A troubled Eastern Carolina charter school will not have its charter renewed after a decision by state education leaders.

In a unanimous vote this afternoon, the North Carolina Charter Schools Review Board decided not to renew the charter for Children’s Village Academy.

The Kinston school 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.

During today’s meeting, state staff said the school has had a history of fiscal problems. The school has until Wednesday 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.

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, which has 140 students, can appeal today’s decision to the State Board of Education.