Streams

Bronx Charter Makes Last-Ditch Effort to Avoid Shutdown

Monday, May 16, 2011

education, classroom, school, school supplies, class, teachers, students (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

A troubled Bronx charter school will find out this week whether it can remain open.

Board members from the Kingsbridge Innovative Design Charter will make their case to the Board of Regents on Monday before a vote is expected Tuesday.

The school was put on probation in March over financial management problems. It missed some payments to its staffers' 401K accounts, and a former teacher said her paycheck was delayed in December.

But co-founder Julio Cotto said he and his new board have turned things around.

"The state has never taken such egregious action before in closing a first-year school," he said. "But over and over we continue to demonstrate and prove to them that we've made all the fixes we need to make."

The school submitted 300 pages to the state last week arguing its case. It included an affidavit from an educational consultant who said the teaching had improved substantially since an earlier visit.

Cotto said the school has also lined up a loan to finish the school year.

Kingsbridge Innovative Design Charter School laid off five teachers in March as well as other staffers. Teachers claim they were targeted because they tried to unionize, but the school denies there was any retaliation.

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