Students began the 2015-16 school year Wednesday at Alianza Academy in West Valley City, Utah, but less than 24 hours later, they learned that the charter school would shut down for good on Friday.
Fox 13 Salt Lake City reports that the school's decision to close comes after the state's Charter School Board had begun the process of terminating Alianza's charter. The state had placed Alianza on probation earlier this year for budget and academic deficiencies.
The Academy, which served students in kindergarten through eighth grade, opened in 2011 with two campuses--one in West Valley City and another in South Salt Lake.
A statement from the Utah Office of Education said the Charter School Board initiated the process of terminating Alianza's charter based upon reports that raised doubts that the school could meet the terms of its probation.
In a letter to students' families and staff members, the Alianza board of trustees says the state's announcement that it would seek to terminate the school's charter made it unfeasible to keep operating.
The state's "public offer to help Alianza’s students find other schools to attend led to immediate student attrition that compelled Alianza’s board to determine that the only responsible action at this point was to close the school," the letter states.
In addition, after the charter board set the termination process in motion, the state's office of education said it would withhold some state funding while the school's status was uncertain.
"Given this and the student attrition, we simply cannot afford to continue to offer the high quality of education consistent with our charter and mission to our Alianza Academy students," the board says.
Video from Fox 13 Salt Lake City: