DPS shutting down charter school

Aisha Shule W.E.B. DuBois Preparatory Academy closing Oct 31

Author: Shawn Ley, Local 4 Reporter, @ShawnLeyLive, sley@wdiv.com
Published On: Oct 11 2013 02:43:53 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 12 2013 03:28:26 AM EDT
DETROIT -

Detroit Public Schools has been in communication with leaders of Aisha Shule/W.E.B. DuBois Preparatory Academy since January of this year about their financial problems.

The school is a charter school, authorized by DPS and now they are revoking the school's charter.

The school will close on October 31st.

Here is why: a charter school acts as its own school district, drawing tax dollars from the state based on enrollment. It's unclear just how many students are enrolled at the school.

DuBois was once a kindergarten through twelfth grade school, but DPS says declining enrollment forced the school to reduce down to sixth grade through twelfth.

Enrollment, DPS says, is only one issue, but there are others.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Detroit Public Schools said: "Detroit Public Schools is responsible for ensuring that the charter schools it authorizes meet their academic goals, are financially sound and comply with the law. The district is closing Aisha Shule because it is no longer financially sound. Communication to the school's leadership regarding financial issues has been taking place since as early as January of this year. The financial condition leaves little confidence that the school has the resources necessary to improve student achievement and to maintain a safe learning environment. In the best interest of students, the school will close on October 31. Aisha Shule and Detroit Public Schools are working together and with external partners to ensure every child makes a smooth transition to their next educational home. Parents will be responsible for enrolling their children in new schools."

Two people working at the school told Local 4 they would address the financial issue, but so far they have not.

Aisha Shule/W.E.B. DuBois Preparatory Academy states it features an African curriculum for students. Parents upset about losing that African curriculum should know that two Detroit Public Schools in the same west side area also feature a similar curriculum.

Parents are now responsible for enrolling their children in another school and to help with what options DuBois is having an information fair next Tuesday afternoon.