Region 8 Charter School Could Lose Charter

IMBODEN, AR--Money problems could lead to the closing of a Region 8 school. The Imboden Charter School is on notice; the state intends to begin the process of revoking its charter.

Wednesday morning Imboden Charter School Director Judy Warren received a letter from the Arkansas State Board of Education informing her of their plans to begin the process of revoking the school's charter.

"Those words sound fairly brutal, but in all reality, we have an opportunity to present a plan on how we plan to fix the problem," said Warren.

The problem stems from the school receiving a loan without first getting the permission of the State Board of Education. Warren says the school is in process of making a plan to pay off that loan.

"Parents have already long ago started fund raising efforts. As soon as the State Board meeting was over we had several charter school supporters step forward and offer to help," said Warren.

She is confident the school will remain open.

The school primarily serves economically disadvantaged students, who in some cases travel more than 45 minutes to attend.

"Since our inception in 2002, we have provided a place for students who might not fit the traditional system," said Warren.

8th grader Alyssa Mondy has attended the school since it opened.

"If it is hard for me, the teachers will explain it just the way I need it," said Mondy.

She made the move to the charter school after she says the school she was attending wasn't teaching to her needs.

"They would just give you the work and tell you to do it," said Mondy.

The key to the charter school concept is a lower student to teacher rate. At the Imboden Area Charter, the results are almost too hard to believe.

"I was making D's and now I am making A's in what I was making D's in," said Mondy.

"With us, we are allowed to individualize with the kids and watch them grow," said Warren.

She feels that with an enrollment of 62 students, financial issues will always be a problem, but the reward is worth it.

"Every day we reap the harvest. We see the kids laughing. We hear the parents comments our children need you and those comments are our reward," said Warren.

The school director plans to ask on Thursday for a hearing with the State Board of Education. The board will then review to see if the school has corrected their financial problems.