This, essentially, is the question that must be answered in St. Louis.
No, they're not closing down all of the city's public schools. However, Missouri education officials are moving to shutter the entire chain of six Imagine charter schools in that city. Those schools, together, enroll about 3800 pupils, or 11 percent of the school population in St. Louis.
About 15 percent of the charter schools that have opened in the past twenty years are now closed. About forty percent of the closures are related to finances, while another forty percent are a result of mismanagement or substandard academics.
To be fair, some of the people who start charter schools have no idea of what they're getting into. They don't realize that their expenses end with those of buying or renting a building and paying staff salaries. However, because charter schools are eligible for federal money, and the government can't gauge the fitness of everyone who is involved with charter schools. Plus, the government is giving money to schools in remote areas most officials have never seen. This is practically a recipe for fraud and other kinds of abuse.
Now officials and parents are faced with the task of finding new spaces in the city's schools for nearly 4000 students. Let's hope the kids aren't in the same predicament this time next year!