TEA temporarily shuts down northeast Houston charter school

Published On: Sep 10 2013 06:58:10 PM CDT

September 10, 2013: Some parents whose children attend a charter school in Northeast Houston are demanding answers after the Texas Education Agency ordered the school to shut down. Mary Benton reports.

HOUSTON -

Some parents whose children attend a charter school in Northeast Houston are demanding answers after the Texas Education Agency ordered the school to shut down.

The Children First Academy Charter School, located at 7308 East Little York, was ordered to close because the school has not conducted criminal background checks on all of its employees, which is required by law.

The charter school has campuses in Houston and one in Dallas.

Both will remain closed until the issue is resolved.

Parents were notified about the closures through a letter.

"We received a directive from the Texas Education Agency to close our school operations at this time. We will contact you as soon as we are permitted to resume operations," explained the letter, which was signed by the principals of both the Houston and Dallas campuses.

According to TEA, all employees who work around school children - teachers, janitors, the principal and superintendent are required to have fingerprinting and background checks.

That had not been completed at Children First Academy despite several warnings.

The charter school receives taxpayer money to operate and is subject to some state regulations.

However, one parent of a student said she hopes the issue is resolved quickly so that her son can return to his normal learning environment.

"As far as the school here, I know everybody there, I know the teachers," said parent Diane Morgan. "I've never had a bad experience with anybody at that school."

An appeals hearing is scheduled to take place on Thursday.

However, the hearing could be canceled and the school allowed to re-open if the school completes the required criminal background checks.

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