A performing arts charter school in Hawthorne, Calif., that many struggling students saw as a saving grace may be closing as a result of a bureaucratic snafu, reports The Los Angeles Times.
Media Arts Academy Charter School, also known as “Hip Hop High,” received notice July 1 from the Centinela Valley Union High School district that its charter had expired and had not been renewed. Principal Jennifer Murphy says she thought charter ran through 2009 and suspects the district intentionally neglected to warn her about the expiration. “They literally have been lying in wait to do this,” she said at a district school board meeting
Many of the students at Hip Hop High had failed out of other schools but were inspired by the charter’s music-based curriculum and supportive environment. “You’re shutting our dreams down,” one student stated at the board meeting. “This is the only place we can be ourselves and express ourselves,” said another.
The district’s superintendent insists that the closing was not part of an agenda against the school but simply a matter of regulations. “Their application expired. They basically ran the clock out,” he said. Media Arts’ staff is exploring legal options, but may have to apply for a new charter.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.