Mercedes Schneider brings us up to date on the disruption caused by charters in Baton Rouge, most of which are failing schools. 

Apex Collegiate Charter School in Baton Rouge notified parents it is closing. Yet its website announces that it is accepting applications for next year. It has been open three years, and it has an F rating from the state. Two other charter schools in the city are closing, and a third is fighting the revocation of its charter. Local district officials are worried that the costs of the charters is eroding the fiscal stability of the district.

The East Baton Rouge School Board rejected Apex’s proposal in 2015 but the charter was approved by the state board.

“Note that concerns raised surrounding Apex Collegiate’s rejection by EBRSB include chartering goals too lofty to reasonably achieve as well as the reality that most EBR charter schools are graded as D or F schools. According to the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) “find a charter” search engine (which has not been updated using 2017-18 school letter grades but appears to use 2016-17 data), there are 27 charter schools located in East Baton Rouge; 4 have no grade listed (including Apex Collegiate). Of the remaining 23 charter schools, 14 are graded D, and one is graded F.

“Apex Collegiate may have had lofty goals, but it seems that such goals do not apparently include maintaining an updated website.

“As of April 14, 2019, the Apex Collegiate website includes no information for the public regarding its May 2019 closure. On the contrary, it advertises, “We are now enrolling for the 2019-20 school year. If your child will be entering the 6th, 7th or 8th grade, please Apply now!

“The application (misinformation in itself) includes the following misinformation for parents: “We will grow by one grade level every year until we are a full 6-12 school.””

The CEO of Apex was previously the state director of Howard Fuller’s Black Alliance for Educational Options, funded by rightwing billionaires to promote school choice among black communities, especially in the South.