Memphis Academy of Health Sciences schools to close despite appeal

The Tennessee charter commission voted unanimously to affirm MSCS’ decision to close Memphis Academy of Health Science

The Memphis Academy of Health Sciences, one of the first charter schools in the city and the state of Tennessee, will officially close at the end of the school year.

The newly formed Tennessee Public School Charter Commission voted unanimously at its Friday meeting to reject MAHS’ appeal, affirming the Memphis-Shelby County school board’s decision to revoke its charter in January after years of financial malfeasance, leading to the indictment of three former school leaders charged with stealing nearly $400,000 from the school.

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The vote aligned with the recommendations of Tess Stovall, executive director of the commission, who wrote that Memphis-Shelby County Schools was within its rights to shut the charter down, given “such egregious acts of financial mismanagement and violations of the charter agreement.”

Memphis Academy of Health Sciences comprises middle school (pictured) and high school campuses in North Memphis. Both campuses will close after this school year, displacing about 750 students.

Stovall said the decision to close a school is not one that should be made lightly, but that a school that violates state law and “betrays the public trust” cannot remain open.

“An authorized charter school is entrusted with significant fiduciary responsibility,” Stovall told commissioners on Friday. “It has to protect those funds and has to ensure that those funds are used in the best interest of students and the community.”


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