State officials ordered Theresa B. Lee Academy charter school to close by tomorrow, state officials said. The charter school, located on East Lancaster Avenue, failed to submit required financial audits and been monitored by the state for cheating on state tests in 2005.
Earlier this month, the school lost state funding for failure to submit financial audits, which public schools are required to do annually.
Officials said representatives from the Region XI Education Service Center, which serves and helps monitor Tarrant County area schools, arrived at the school Nov. 7 to find that the school was not in session.
That was unacceptable to the commissioner, TEA spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson said.
Jesse Jackson, who also oversees Lee's parent company Youth for Education and Success, based in Houston, could not be reached for comment. He has not returned media calls in recent months. State officials had official enrollment figures at 102 students but said monitors noted about 60 students at recent visits.
Principal Greg Wesley, who took the position in August, said he was notified Monday via fax. Students were alerted Tuesday and Wednesday. The school's goal was to help students at-risk of dropping out and help those who had return to class.
"It's very tough on the students," he said, noting that today was spent gathering student records so they could enroll elsewhere. "They've been put out of a lot of schools, they've made poor decisions, fallen behind. This was a place for them to come and catch up and, hopefully, graduate."
The state asked YES officials to submit a 2005-06 by Sept. 29 and failed to do so. The state has revoked or removed 41 charters since allowing such schools in 1995. Read the commissioner's letter here.
UPDATE 4:32 p.m.: YES representatives are meeting with TEA officials right now to discuss Theresa B. Lee's future. Details to come soon.