Ball State Declines Bowman Academy Charter Renewal

GARY -

A charter school in Gary is looking for its next authorizer. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report Ball State University will not renew the charter for Thea Bowman Leadership Academy at the end of the current school year.

The school received a preliminary renewal last year that included some stipulations that the Office of Charter Schools at Ball State says in a statement were not met. The publication reports the school was determined to be out of compliance of some governance and operations requirements and "various requirements pertaining to federal and state laws."

Ball State is the authorizer for the charter, but it is held by the Drexel Foundation for Educational Excellence Inc., which previous ran the Bowman Academy. It includes a grade school and high school and is now managed by The Leona Group LLC.

Bowman High School Principal Sarita Stevens says the academy will pursue other options."We have to make plans and move forward. The problem is that this disenfranchises 1,400 students. We outperform every other charter school academically. Our high school earned a B and the elementary school earned a C. They gave us a D overall, and we are appealing that," Stevens said.

The school has announced a town meeting Saturday to discuss, among other topics, charter renewal.

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