CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator

Vol. 46, No. 17
March 20, 2012

State Board to Review Charter School Sponsor

The State Board of Education today approved issuing a notice to Missouri Baptist University (MBU) that its authorization to sponsor charter schools will be reviewed in April.

The State Board has scheduled a public hearing in Jefferson City on April 16 to review MBU’s sponsorship and allow the university to present information. The Board is expected to make a determination the following day during its regular monthly meeting.

MBU currently sponsors four charters in the St. Louis area with a total enrollment of nearly 4,200 students.

Academic performance at four of the seven school buildings under MBU sponsorship ranks in the bottom five percent of all public schools in Missouri. Deficit spending and high administrative costs have raised concerns about the management and oversight of the schools.

For the past year, the Department has urged MBU to address the academic and management issues at the schools.

Missouri law allows charter schools to be operated as independent public schools in the St. Louis and Kansas City school districts. Charter schools are free from most of the rules and regulations that apply to traditional public school districts. In exchange for flexibility from the state, charter sponsors are to hold the schools accountable for results.

MBU started sponsoring charter schools in the summer of 2006. Charters currently sponsored by the university are: Imagine Academy of Careers (grades K-12), Imagine Academy of Academic Success (grades K-8), Imagine Academy of Environmental Science and Math (grades K-8), and Carondelet Leadership Academy (grades K-6).  Last December, the sponsor announced the Imagine Academy of Academic Success will close both its campuses at the end of the school year.