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Press Release Regarding the Closure of Garden City Preparatory Academy

For Immediate Release: August 11, 2016
Taylor Fulcher, Director of Communications

Garden City Preparatory Academy Loses Appeal to Continue Operation

South Carolina Public Charter School District Board of Trustees revokes GCPA’s charter.

Columbia, South Carolina—During the South Carolina Public Charter School District (SCPCSD) August 11, 2016 meeting, the Board of Trustees unanimously denied the request made by the Garden City Preparatory Academy (GCPA) to continue in operation.

On June 9, 2016, after recommendations made by the SCPCSD staff, the SCPCSD Board of Trustees voted to revoke the charter of Garden City Preparatory Academy. The Board of Trustees found GCPA had failed to meet academic and financial standards and were not in compliance with charter expectations.

GCPA requested and received a hearing to present their case to the Board of Trustees on August 11, 2016. GCPA & SCPCSD were both given an opportunity to present evidence and the SCPCSD Board voted to affirm its decision to revoke. The decision was made final after thoughtful consideration, a careful process, and a thorough evaluation of GCPA that demonstrated poor academic results and a chronically insufficient learning environment. After weighing the facts, the SCPCSD Board of Trustees made the decision to close GCPA in the best interest of students and families.

Garden City Preparatory Academy, a public charter middle school for boys in Orangeburg, South Carolina, was founded in 2013 by Kevin A. Rasberry. GCPA’s mission was “to create life-long opportunities for our young men by graduating students with purpose, priorities, and potential.” GCPA had a current enrollment of 73 students as of the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

Charter schools are tuition-free public schools. In exchange for certain freedoms, such as the ability to develop their own curriculum and establishing their own standards for student behavior, charter schools must continuously demonstrate that they have earned the right to continue the great privilege of educating the children of South Carolina.

This school year, the South Carolina Public Charter School District will oversee 35 public charter schools serving approximately 23,000 students across the state.