Southwest Detroit charter school plagued with financial trouble to close after this school year

Southwest Detroit Community School closing in June

DETROIT – A charter school in Detroit is suddenly closing after this school year after financial troubles.

The Southwest Detroit Community School opened on 29th Street in 2013 through a lease agreement with an investment fund headed by tennis star Andre Agassi.

It's closing after an inability to reach an agreement on the lease. The school was having issues meeting the lease costs. Grand Valley State University was the school's authorizer under Michigan law, and it was responsible for overseeing the school's finances and policies.

The school's closure will impact 347 students in grades K-8. Their families are trying to figure out where to send their children in the fall.

"It's pretty upsetting that they tell us last minute -- yesterday through a text message," parent Amy Valedez said. "It was a good school in the beginning, but then it started falling apart. Then they start having different teachers every year, different principals."

Below is a statement from GVSU associate vice president for charter schools, Robert T. Kimball:

“Our focus during this transitional time for Southwest Detroit Community School remains on what matters most—the students. Working with school leadership, we are ensuring that teaching and learning continues without interruption at the school every day until the end of the academic year. Our team also stands ready to help each affected family enroll their children in the schools of their choice for next year. Their academic success is our top priority.”

About the Authors: