Over the years more than 350 Arizona Charter schools have closed, many for financial reasons. However, most closures have not been as dramatic as Discovery Creemos Academy in Goodyear. The school closed in January with no notice to families, and it is now is under investigation by the state attorney general.
Numerous other Arizona charter schools are on regulators' watch list after annual audits register them as a "going concerns." The Arizona State Board for Charter Schools considers these schools to be at risk of closing within a year.
The Arizona State Board of Charter Schools oversees around 550 charter schools across the state and examines their financial condition in-depth, visiting the schools for on-site visits and monitoring their academic performance.
According to the Board's executive director, a small number of schools currently do not meet financial expectations, and board staff is working with those schools to protect parents and students.
"No student or family should have to worry about the financial condition of his or her school," executive director Ashley Berg said. "That is why we take this supervisory role with the utmost seriousness."
The Arizona Charter Schools Association urges parents to discuss any financial concerns with school administrators. A spokeswoman adds charter schools are subject to rigorous reporting requirements and financial performance reports are just a snapshot that should not be looked at in isolation.