North Columbus Charter School At Risk Of Closing
Parents say they're caught off guard and confused by what's happening with a North Columbus charter school.
Pschtecin High School was projected to have 75 students. It currently has 41 students.
Its own financial statements say it's broke. The school's sponsor is moving to suspend its operation.
Despite all that, the director dismisses talk of the school closing.
The Pschtecin School Board was supposed to meet Monday night.
Two mothers showed up searching for answers.
15 minutes after the meeting was to begin, it was canceled.
Principal and Director Cynthia Bronson said the absence of a board member meant no quorum and no meeting.
"So what does this mean?" asked parent Rose Callahan. "Does this mean in five days the school is closing?"
"No ma'am," answered Bronson. "There's no action whatsoever."
Callahan and Beverly Brown say they first heard through their children that the school was closing.
"It was your teacher who told me today's meeting was going to be determining if we close now or December 20th," Callahan told Bronson. "And those were the only two options."
"That's what I was told by the counselor," added Brown.
"Well, that wasn't entirely accurate," replied Bronson.
Bronson acknowledges her school's troubles, but denies they mean it is closing.
Its October financial statements, dated Monday, say "Pschtecin Public School is unable to meet its current and past obligations, with no improvement anticipated in the future. The school is not financially viable for continued operation."
In a letter dated last Thursday, North Central Ohio Educational Service Center, the company overseeing or "sponsoring" the school, notified school officials it planned to suspend Pschtecin's operations.
The reasons listed: "failure to properly educate students," "lack of funds," and "failure to properly account for student enrollment and attendance."
"It doesn't mean closure," Bronson told 10TV.
She said the "intent to suspend" notice gives her and the school's board five business days to come up with a plan.
"We're doing everything that we can, everything possible, to make sure that we can turn things around and to make sure that we can continue on like we have the last 8 years," she said.
Parents were dubious.
"Where does that leave the students?" asked Brown. "Where does that leave the parents?"
Bronson tells 10TV she will scramble to reschedule the school board meeting so her board can come up with a plan.
She said she believed they would know something definitive by the end of this week.
10TV tried to reach the Superintendent of North Central Ohio Educational Service Center. He did not return our calls.
Stay with 10TV on the air and online at 10TV.com for updates.