by Tony Roberts
When a charter school closes because it has failed to meet the academic goals set out in its charter, it’s disappointing, but as every charter school knows, accountability and performance are the “rules of the road.”
It’s something entirely different when a charter school high school with a 93 percent graduation rate has to close because it’s become a scapegoat for district-wide mismanagement and overspending. That’s exactly what happened to Tech High School, Atlanta’s only charter high school offering a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) focus.
Atlanta Public Schools informed Tech High on May 31 that it would have $360,000 less in operating funds for the 2012-2013 year. These cuts made the school financially unsustainable, setting its per-pupil funding $3,600 lower than other APS high schools.