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Charter School Closes Doors for Now

SOUTHEAST COLUMBUS (Maria Durant) -- A charter school in southeast Columbus has closed its doors -- at least for now.

Barnett Academy had to suspend operations for financial reasons, Superintendent Thuron Barnett reported.

As the school struggled to meet its budget, some teachers and staff have not been paid, Barnett said.

He attributed the lack of funds to the lacking school enrollment -- not mismanagement.
"We have not misspent the money and we have documentation to prove that," Barnett said.

"We have to have so many students to make the budget, and we weren't making that," he continued. "We were cutting back, letting staff know this in the beginning."

Barnett said he is looking for financial backers for the school and plans to pay those staff and teachers that are contracted to get paid.

The charter school had projected an enrollment of 135 students. The school never reached that amount. As of Thursday, only 38 kids were enrolled.

The superintendent said he has been working with the parents to find each child another school.

He said he plans to reopen next year.
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