UH Charter School may close after Board of Regents approves return of charter to Texas Education Agency
UH System regents voted on Thursday during the Board’s meeting to return the charter of the UH Charter School back to the Texas Education Agency at the end of the academic year.
The charter goes up for renewal every ten years, but for 2021, the Board of Regents voted to return the charter school to the TEA after challenges involving the coronavirus pandemic, including enrollment and online learning.
“We’ve been struggling with our financial support of the charter school for several years and (COVID -19) just accelerated our concerns,” said College of Education Dean Robert McPherson. “It has been a gem of the University in relation to the community, but the College of Education can now turn its focus directly on the work that we do best.”
The pandemic and the attempt to teach remotely with only five teachers was part of the reasoning for the return to the Texas Education Agency.
McPherson said the charter school faculty has worked hard during the pandemic.
Just 89 students are enrolled in the UH Charter School this year. The school was open enrollment and chartered by the TEA’s state board of education and has been operating since 1997.
“(UH Charter School) is working very hard to help these students find placement at other schools for the 2021-2022 school year,” said Provost Paula Myrick Short.
The number of educational regulations that the charter school had to comply with was economically dawning because of the small size and increasing regulatory responsibilities, Short said.
The University currently provides direct and indirect funding to the charter school in excess of $268,000. Other support from the University includes staff support from the College of Education.
“This has not been done lightly,” Short said. “People feel a great affinity for this school, particularly if their children have gone there.”