Kansas City’s public school lineup is reducing by two charter schools at the end of this school year.
Kansas City Public Schools will close its sole charter school, Kansas City Neighborhood Academy, 1619 E 24th Terrace, an elementary school that opened in 2016.
Another elementary school, Pathway Academy, 2015 East 72nd Street, also announced that it will be closing. Pathway previously had been sponsored by the University of Missouri-Kansas City, but has been under control of the statewide Missouri Charter Public School Commission since December. UMKC no longer sponsors charters, announcing last year it would focus on research.
Both schools served less than 200 children in grades kindergarten through the fourth grade.
Charter schools are public schools, but they operate independently of public school districts with their own school boards.
KCNA announced its closing in a letter sent home to parents.
“Despite vigorous efforts,” the letter said, “we have struggled to meet our annual enrollment and budgetary goals. Slower than expected housing development around the school and the increasing number of seats available in our city also present significant obstacles for KCNA and has caused us to analyze the long-term sustainability of the school.”
Pathway Academy was on spring break, but announced its closure on its website .
The Missouri Charter Public School Commission reported that Pathway’s board of directors voted on March 12 to close by June 30.
Corbyn Jones, chairman of the board at Pathway, provided a written statement that cited declining enrollment and financial pressure for the closure.
“When we elected to reduce our number of grades, without a significant reduction in staff, our hope was to provide our scholars with more academic assistance,” the statement said. “This would in turn produce higher test scores, increase our enrollment and ultimately allow us to return to the original K through 6 (or greater). After 2 years, our enrollment has actually decreased, which has caused a deficiency in funding. Seeing no immediately solution to this issue, the board voted that it would be in the best interest of our scholars and their families to announce our closure, in order to provide them adequate time to find other options.”
There are currently 22 charter schools in Kansas City, Mo.