New York State announced that they’re shutting down Kingsbridge Innovative Design Charter School (KIDS) after only eight months, citing financial mismanagement and issues with leadership.
According to the state, the school lacked an “appropriate system of bookkeeping and financial records management,” with the finances taking over education as a major issue.
When attempting to contact the number listed on KIDS’ page for an explanation, an AmNews reporter was greeted with the message, “The number or code you dialed is incorrect” multiple times. However, Julio Cotto, the executive director of the school, spoke with the New York Daily News about the situation.
“I think we’re in the crossfire of some new sheriffs in town who are going to set stricter standards for charter schools,” said Cotto. Cotto is a former employee of Junior Achievement of New York, a nonprofit organization, and admits to rushing the opening of KIDS.
Issues have been surfacing at the school for months. Back in March, five teachers were laid off due to budgetary reasons. The school also has had several different academic leaders in its short history. In April, the State Education Department held a public hearing at the school, which was put on probation by the Board of Regents for the aforementioned fiscal mismanagement.
On KIDS’ Facebook page, the last message the school posted is dated June 20. “Cleaning week at KIDS-last chance to drop by and look in our ‘lost and found’ bin,” read the post. However, for parents, students and teachers, it looks like the school will be lost as well.
As the school closes, it appears as if there are those who ready to pick over its carcass, as a bidding war seems to be underway for a building in the Bronx that the school was slated to occupy. Reportedly, there are several groups looking to open a school on 3120 Corlear Ave. in the Kingsbridge neighborhood near Ewen Park. Among those keeping their eyes on the building include a group of local parents-some with kids in nearby P.S. 24-who want to open a charter school and officials from the Mott Hall Charter School, who are looking to open a middle school in the borough.