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Local charter school closes, leaving teachers jobless and families scrambling to find a new school

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Posted at 9:13 PM, Dec 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-28 21:13:00-05

INDIANAPOLIS — One local charter school is closing it doors. On Jan. 20, the Him by Her Collegiate School for the Arts will no longer serve its 200 students. One charter school expert says this is a common occurrence for charter schools across the country.

"We've seen for a couple decades there have been several thousand, I think over 5,000 charter schools that have closed since 2000,” said Chris Lubienski, a Professor of Education Policy at Indiana University Bloomington. “So you’re looking at about 200 a year, take or give. "

That statistic is now a reality for students and staff at the HIM by HER charter school. On Tuesday, the school sent out a statement announcing the closure.

Second grade teacher Arien Jackson says this is the worst time something like this could happen.

"They are supposed to be enjoying their Christmas break,” Jackson said. “Instead of enjoying it, they must scramble to find another school in their area for their child. They have to think about what it looks like for their kids."

Jackson, who is now out of a job, says this came as a shock with little communication.

WRTV’s Meredith Hackler asked "so there was no in person conversation, no pulling you guys into a room, just an email that was sent to you telling you, you no longer have a job?"

Jackson said "Correct."

Over 40 percent of charter school closures are due to financial issues. Lubienski says a lot of times people open charter schools with good intentions, but they often don’t have the experience to run a school.

"While there are some very good charter schools. there's also a lot of very bad charter schools that just aren't performing very well," Lubienski said. “You would think because of that. those would be closing down, but that's actually not the case. Most of the time when we see charter school closures. it's because of finance issues."

Ms. Jackson has a message for students and their families.

"I, Ms. Jackson, am still here for my parents, for my students in any way possible I can help them,” Jackson said. “Even if they just want to call, scream, vent, whatever — I'm still here. I'm just a phone call away."

We tried calling the school to see if they could comment on the situation, but we weren't able to get a response.

The school is planning on hosting an enrollment fair at the school on Friday, Jan. 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.