Benjamin Banneker Charter Academy of Technology could close

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hundreds of Kansas City parents may be forced to find a new school for their children after Benjamin Banneker Charter loses its sponsorship.

Benjamin Banneker Charter Academy at 6401 Rockhill Road is at risk of closing after their sponsor announced Friday that it would not renew the school's sponsorship.

Taylor Fields is the school's attorney. He says they're looking for a way to stay open.

"They have a number of options. Among those would be seeking a new sponsor. It may be reorganizing the school as perhaps an alternative school or at risk school," said Fields.

The Pre-K through eighth-grade charter school opened 18 years ago. On Friday, it's sponsor, the University of Central Missouri, announced it would not renew the school's sponsorship for the upcoming 2018/2019 school year. In a statement, UCM said the school has not been able to meet academic criteria.

"Benjamin Banneker has not been able to meet the academic criteria that Missouri statutes have established for public charter schools as well as UCM guidelines.” Among reasons cited for the university's decision not to renew charter sponsorship for BBCAT are:

Benjamin Banneker’s Annual Performance Report (APR) percentages, which are results from the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP); student engagement criteria generated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; and scores on additional assessments have shown a steady downward trend since the school's last renewal in 2012.

Banneker parent Classy Jones said she's disappointed by the news but has already started looking for options.

"It's a lot of different things going on that I'm not pleased with this year. So, that's why I want to just make the change and send them somewhere else," said Jones.

Tricia Johnson, the executive director of Show Me KC Schools says their upcoming City School Fair could be a resource for Benjamin Banneker parents.

"We'll have 55 KCPS, charter and parochial schools at the fair. We would love that to be an opportunity for Benjamin Bannekar Charter Academy families," said Johnson.

The City School Fair will be held on November 11th at Central Library at 14 W. 10th Street in Kansas City. The event will run from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m and is open to the public.

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