Education

Rent increase could force SF charter school to shut down

Sunday, April 28, 2013

It was a shock for students and parents when they learned their small charter school, located in the heart of San Francisco, may be forced to shut down due to a significant increase in rent. And now those parents are fighting back to keep the school open.

Parents received a letter this Friday from the head of the school spelling out the main reason why it may have to shut down. The school is located just blocks from Union Square in downtown San Francisco. School leaders say their rent was hiked beyond what is affordable.

Students and parents say they were shocked to learn that school leaders are considering closing their doors.

San Francisco Flex Academy is a charter high school with about 150 students. Teens and parents we talked with tell us the alternative class structure allows the students to work in a setting that's more independent than public schooling, and not as isolated as home schooling.

Parents tell us they had no idea the school was having difficulties with their lease, so when letters were sent out on Friday, it was a shock.

"The school is a great school," parent Veronica Switzer said. "And the city needs more schools like this. And if the school did close, the kids that would have to leave here, their credits run differently, so they would be at a disadvantage if they had to go to another school."

When asked what she'll have to do if the school closes, student Amandine Ravetta said, "I don't know yet. I'm still undecided. I think I'll just try and be homeschooled."

We've reached out to the head of the school that's listed in the letter given to parents, but have not received a reply yet.

The charter school's board will be having a meeting Monday night. Parents tell us they're hoping to come together a couple hours before that meeting to put together a strategy.

Those parents tell us they want to offer any help they possibly can to school leaders, potentially through fundraising or even helping to renegotiate a lease. They also want to ask the school leaders if there are any other reasons that are prompting a possible closing.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
union square, school closures, teachers, real estate, education
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