Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Children’s Village Academy in Kinston will SHUTDOWN after not paying it’s bills and not following laws

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A North Carolina charter school in Kinston, Children’s Village Academy, is facing a rocky road ahead as the North Carolina Board of Education recently turned down its plea for a fresh start. The school is set to shut its doors by the end of the month, with the North Carolina Board of Education Board citing financial mismanagement, legal infractions, and charter violations as key reasons for their decision.

The investigation into the school’s affairs uncovered a laundry list of unsavory practices, including alleged misuse of federal funds, inflating enrollment figures for an after-school program, breaching state laws on open meetings and public records, and mistreating employees who raised concerns. Board member John Blackburn highlighted a pattern of financial and legal troubles that persisted over the years, even during the school’s renewal reviews.

Reports suggest that the Department of Public Instruction has escalated several issues concerning Children’s Village Academy to law enforcement, although specific details remain confidential to safeguard the integrity of ongoing investigations.

In a bold move on June 4, 2024, the board reached a decision.

Back in 1997, Children’s Village was part of the pioneering group of charter schools approved to open in the state. Research indicates that charter schools are required to renew their agreement with the state every decade. Fast forward to 2022, the school board initiated the review process for the upcoming renewal.

While the state raised concerns about low test scores, they acknowledged that the charter school’s recent academic performance was on par with students in Lenoir County Schools. Additionally, there were inquiries about financial and governance issues, including potential conflicts of interest among members of the Children’s Village board.

Surprise inspections conducted by the state revealed additional challenges at Children’s Village, causing a delay in the 2024 renewal vote. The renewal dossier obtained by The North Carolina Beat contained a detailed 10-page summary of its own.

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The state found that the school had mishandled federal grant funds and required reimbursement, specifying that the repayment couldn’t be covered by state or federal resources. The school’s board committed to returning $152,000 of federal grant money by May 8.

“That settlement money still has not been repaid,” Blackburn told the Board of Education on Wednesday. “Nor does it appear that CVA has the resources to repay the money, nor an intent to repay the money unless it is non-renewed.”

The school leaders had grand schemes up their sleeves to make a U-turn, but alas, their efforts fell short of impressing the Charter Schools Review Board or the Board of Education.

“Given the long history of issues that could have and should have been addressed — at a minimum, over the past two years — this panel cannot, in good faith, base a recommendation upon assertion and promises of change to come,” state Board of Education member Jill Camnitz said at the conclusion of the June 4th appeal.

Children’s Village is bidding farewell to its 150 students as they wrap up the school year. Plans are in motion for the students to transition to a new school for the upcoming academic year, with the school’s administration working on transferring records and assets to the Lenoir County school system.

The fate of the federal grant money remains uncertain, leaving a question mark on whether it will need to be reimbursed. Additionally, the possibility of legal actions against the leaders of Children’s Village post-closure is still up in the air.

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Gerald Jackson
Gerald Jacksonhttps://www.instagram.com/iiamgj/
Hi, my name is Gerald Jackson and I am 28-years-old. I was born and raised in Troy, Alabama. I currently reside in North Carolina. I am a Journalist, Influencer, Content Creator, and a Man of Faith! I don't shy away from the truth, always speak my mind, and before I take anything back, I'll add more to it. Follow me on my social media below to keep up with my personal life. LOL!

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