State education officials vote to close Memphis school

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Southwest Early College High School

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Southwest Early College High School will close after a vote from the Tennessee State Board of Education on Monday afternoon.

The State Board voted 8 to 0 against the school’s revocation appeal.

The school is run by Artesian schools.

“We are obviously disappointed by the vote, which ends the opportunity Southwest Early College High School has offered students in Shelby County,” CEO of Artesian Schools Ashley Smith said in a press release.

Shelby County Schools revoked the Southwest’s charter back in October.

The charter revocation happened after parents brought up issues about the school to SCS.

The school had a lengthy rebuttal to the charter revocation, explaining what it thought were solutions to some of the issues.

“We had addressed two short-term challenges common at a new school and found new college partners.  I’m really at a loss as to how we got here, particularly considering that just a couple months ago, in October, the State Board of Education overturned a charter revocation for a school that had more serious, longer-term issues.  I am afraid the climate for charter schools in Shelby County is decidedly negative,” Smith said SECHS administrators have pledged to work with the school’s high-performing charter partners to ensure students have a smooth transition to new schools next year.

Southwest Early College High School is in its third school year.

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