The Missouri board of education voted last week to close all six charter schools in St. Louis run by Imagine Schools Inc., one of the largest charter-management companies in the nation.
The move could affect more than 3,500 students, leaving the St. Louis district to determine how to take on the expected influx of children.
The move follows months of increasing scrutiny of the schools’ financial, leadership, and academic problems. The schools are operated by the Arlington, Va.-based for-profit company. Students enrolled at the schools make up about one-third of the city’s charter school population.
State test results from 2011 showed that nearly all students in the city’s Imagine schools were performing below grade level in reading and math, prompting Mayor Francis Slay and State Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro to call for the closure of the schools.
Imagine officials haven’t ruled out legal action.
A version of this article appeared in the April 25, 2012 edition of Education Week as Mo. Board to Close Troubled Charters