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Ivy Prep: Funding and dwindling enrollment fueled decision to close high schools

Ivy Prep sent me a response to a column about why the state Charter Schools Commission should not allow the charter network to close its high schools, which serve 90 students, at the end of this month.

The closing process has already begun, although the official vote of the Charter Schools Commission will come later this month.  The commission is expected to sanction the decision of the Ivy Prep board to shutter its high schools.

You can read my original story about the closing here.

You can read the column about why the schools should remain open here .

And you can read Ivy Prep’s letter to parents about the column here.

Here is a statement Ivy Prep provided today:


The Governing Board of Ivy Preparatory Academies recently voted to close its high school program after careful consideration of the educational needs of students, the low enrollment, and the budget limitations to providing a high-quality program.

The decision impacted 90 students and their families, including a handful of seniors. Many parents have already withdrawn their scholars to attend partnering high schools.

The board released a statement to parents today to explain their position to act in the best interests of students. IPA operates three single-gender public charter schools in Gwinnett and DeKalb Counties with a total enrollment of more than 1,100 students.

Tony Roberts, president and CEO of the Georgia Charter Schools Association, also released a statement to explain the funding dilemma facing start-up charter schools, which do not receive a local share of tax dollars for the education of Georgia public school students.

“If funding were not an issue, I am certain that Ivy Prep would continue its high school,” said Roberts. “But funding is the issue and the board and staff of Ivy have made a hard but sound decision to ensure the present and future success of the school in producing Ivy Scholars. Without sufficient funding, these students are better served in other schools at this time. Unlike school districts that can draw upon large reserves or increase millage rates, Ivy Prep receives (as a State Commission approved school) only the state portion of education funding. That means Ivy Prep is one of the lowest funded public schools in Georgia.  Let all those who criticize the school for trying to live within its budget also advocate for and raise more equitable funding, so they can once again offer high school in the future.”

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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.