Sumter, SC (WLTX) - The South Carolina Public Charter Schools District announced Tuesday that the Mary L. Dinkins Charter School will be losing their charter and forced to close their doors on Friday.
District spokesperson Clay Eaton says after two years of probation, the academyhas had consistent poor test scores and other issues causing the Board of Trustees to vote to revoke the schools charter.
"These students and these families elect to go to these schools and they are really counting on the authorizing office, in this case the SC public charter school district to have their best interest at heart," said Eaton.
The Mary L. Dinkins Higher Learning Academy started in Lee County in 2004. After a six-year period the school only met one of 22 adequate yearly progress objectives according to the district.
Eaton says when the school moved to Sumter they were put on probation.
"After two years it was very clear that they were going backwards not forwards when it came to academics."
The Board of Trustees voted to revoke the charter of the school last March.
Leaders at the school appealed the decision in court but a judge ruled in favor of the charter school district.
WLTX attempted to contact school leaders but there was no answer.
"We were able to look at students just like these students in other locations and we could see that these students were grossly underperforming against any possible comparison that you could make by very large margins."
Eaton says it is tough to close a school knowing that it directly affects students and their families...but believes that the school did not adhere to its promises of academic excellence listed in their charter.
"That's because accountability is the central aspect of public charter schools, we want to be accountable and when they do not perform well, their charter needs to be revoked."