Parents Scrambling as Charter School Gets Ready to Close

Parents are left scrambling to make alternate plans for their children after school officials announced they are closing a charter school due to low enrollment.

Ninth grader Maya Montaner said she was emotional after reading an email sent just a few days prior by Miami Arts Charter School founder and principal Alfred de la Rosa announcing that the school was closing its Homestead campus.

“I was very shocked, and all the teachers were shocked, and all the teachers were sad, and everyone that whole day was crying,” said ninth grader Maya Montaner.

According to the email, de la Rosa said the closing is due to low enrollment that did not meet the property lease requirements, stating in part, “Our budget forecast indicated that 600 students would not yield the funds necessary to comply with the payment terms required in the lease next year.”

That left parents wondering, how long did the principal know about this – and what will they do next?

Some parents don’t have the option to send their kids to another charter school – many of them have closed their registration deadlines. One teacher, who did not want to be identified, told NBC 6 over 100 new students committed to the Homestead campus for next school year.

“One-hundred twenty students who auditioned and received acceptance from multiple schools and chose Miami Arts Charter are now trapped because they can’t go anywhere else,” they said.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools does not own the school but say they will do their part to help families find the best option for their children.

Meanwhile, Maya said the announcement has been a distraction for her and many of her classmates.

“We’re just trying to continue our classes, but it’s definitely left a mark,” she said.

De la Rosa has not returned NBC 6’s requests for a statement or an interview.