Parents blame school leaders for closure of Derrick Thomas Academy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Earlier this week, The Department of Education voted to close Gordon Parks Elementary School.

Now we've learned another charter school in the Kansas City metro will close at the end of the school year. Derrick Thomas Academy will shut its doors for good in June.

Parents are blaming former principals and school board members. Staff, on the other hand, won't talk to the media. It's not because they don't want to, but they've been told by school leaders if they do they will face consequences.

Almost a year ago, the 41 Action News Investigators exposed the charter school was not performing. Among the problems: low academic scores, financial problems and the failure to meet the needs of special education students from K-12.

At the time, the University Of Missouri-Kansas City sponsored DTA. They revoked their charter in November.

"This was not a situation where we, UMKC, had a choice or the school had a choice. If you are not meeting this criteria your charter will not be renewed. You can't even ask them to renew it," said UMKC attorney Dana Cutler.

"It's heartbreaking because I love this school. My kids have been here a long time," one parent who didn't want to be identified told 41 Action News. "But also, at the same time, I'm happy to be done with it. I'm just waiting for the year to be over."

The last day for students is June 7. Cutler told 41 Action News that DTA offered recruitment fairs on campus for parents and students to find a new school for next year.

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