Atlantic City Community Charter School officials say they won't be opening until next year. Parents with students who were already enrolled for 2013 now say they don't know where they'll be sending their kids in September.
LaDonna Dickerson, a mother of an enrolled student at Atlantic City Community Charter School, said, "I’m just really hurt right now because I want my baby to have the best education."
Dickerson is the mother of two young children, one of whom attended Oceanside Charter School in Atlantic City last year. But when she found out her son’s school was closing, she was one of the first in line to enroll him in the new Atlantic City Community Charter School, that was supposed to be opening this September.
But now, that is not the case. Dickerson explained, "I feel like we got the short end of the stick because they said, 'Okay, we're going to close Oceanside and then we're going to open this school,' and most of the parents from Oceanside enrolled their students into the school and then at the last minute they told us, 'Okay, we're not going to open it.’"
The New Jersey Department of Education informed parents back on July 19th that the Atlantic City Charter School would not be opening this year because it failed to meet all of the necessary statutory and regulatory requirements to gain final approval.
Officials with the Atlantic City Community Charter School issued a statement saying, rather than hurrying their charter, they will take an extra year to ensure that the school meets or exceeds the standards set by the state.
Parents say their enrolled students will now be placed into an Atlantic City public school, chosen by the Atlantic City school board.
Simone Birts, a concerned parent, said, "Now I have to face reality that now my child is going to have to go to one of these failing schools in my area."
Other parents like Dickerson say they were perfectly happy with their students enrolled at the now closed Oceanside Charter School and that now they're left in a state of limbo, wondering what to do next.
Annie May Thompson, the mother of 3 students set to begin class at ACCCS, told NBC40, "September 4th or September 9th, we really don't know when they are going back to school but hopefully I'll get something in the mail - or if not, I'm going down there and will open my mouth and say something because I haven't gotten nothing yet." Birts added, "It's up in the air. None of us know what we're doing. We're kind of in limbo right now." Dickerson also said, "I mean what are they going to wait until after Labor Day to send the paperwork out to us and then it's like, ‘Okay, we get the paper the day before school starts?’ That's just confusing to me."
The Atlantic City Community Charter School will need to revise its charter school application by June 30th of next year in order to have the final charter approved.
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