Rural charter school to close
A free public charter school in Sullivan County that has catered to a more rural population for more than 20 years will be closing its doors at the end of the school year. Our partners at WTWO-TV report Rural Community Schools Inc. has notified staff and families that dwindling enrollment led to the decision.
Rural Community Academy leaders say the school will withdraw it charter renewal application from Ball State University.
“This year we saw an unprecedented drop in enrollment when the year began,” a new release stated. “Because our funding is tied to enrollment that means that we have less funding coming to RCA.”
The board said they have the money to finish the 2022-2023 school year, but due to the drop in funding, they cannot guarantee there would be enough money to get through another school year.
“We’re fine this year, but looking at next year, there could potentially be problems and we sure don’t want to close in the middle of the school year at Christmastime,” said RCA school board President Susie Pierce.
Pierce said the decision was not easy, but it was the fiscally responsible thing to do.
According to Derek Grant, the school’s leader and Chief Operating Officer, “The academic framework was not a worry. But the financial framework was and as we’ve looked at the numbers, it just becomes more and more evident that we can’t guarantee another year,” said Grant.
When the school was created in 2003, it opened as Indiana’s first rural charter school. Over the last 20 years, the school has served as a model for the establishment of three other rural charter schools.