After two years and $500,000 of tax revenue that could have gone to fund a real school, Real Prep Charter Academy will not open it’s doors. The Oregon Public School District has stopped all funding and the enrolled high schoolers will have to go elsewhere. Read on (courtesy of OregonLive.com):
photo courtesy of Doug Beghtel, The Oregonian
Officials at Portland Public Schools cut off funding for the school Friday, citing an astounding lack of readiness. The building was still a construction zone, the school’s leaders kept changing and school officials made false claims to try to allay district concerns — all signs that the school was not equipped to serve students, said Sue Ann Higgens, executive director for education options in Portland Public Schools. The 48 students who had enrolled in REAL Prep were notified by email Friday afternoon that the school will not open and that district placement specialists will help them find another school. Another 50 or so students, who had filled out online applications to attend the school but never formally enrolled, were also being contacted — at least in the instances where district officials can locate email addresses or phone numbers to reach them, Higgens said. It was unclear Friday where the students would go to school instead. Many who had signed up for REAL Prep said they were doing so because their traditional neighborhood high school wasn’t a good fit, Higgens said. REAL Prep administrators told district officials in mid-August that, despite paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for curriculum development, the school didn’t actually get curriculum materials and teachers were unprepared to teach as the charter school’s founder, Portland parent Erica Jayasuriya, had promised, Higgens said. District officials said that was their first indication how far off track REAL Prep planners had fallen. The school’s leaders said it would be a squeeze but they could be ready for students by Monday. District officials said OK.