East Point parents, students left in limbo over potential school closure

Hundreds of Fulton County parents are kids are now in limbo fighting to save their charter school from shutting down.

The Fulton County School System has recommended the board not renew the contract of Rise Charter School in East Point.

The parents of students at the school that spoke with FOX 5's Rob Dirienzo say they’re angry, confused, and uncertain about where their children will go. They say all of this came out of nowhere, and now they’re trying to come up with a backup plan if Rise closes.

"For us not to know as parents in this community, it’s detrimental to us," says Juan Pullen, a parent of two children at the school. "We're very disappointed, very hurt, because we were caught off guard."

A spokesperson for the school system said they're thinking about pulling the plug on the agreement with Rise for three reasons - its finances, leadership, and lackluster test scores.

The district staff made the recommendations to the board a few weeks ago.

"Essentially what that would mean is all of our babies from Kindergarten all the way through eighth grade - it’s a little over 800 - will have to be redistributed back to their feeder schools," Rise teacher Samuel Beck said.

The school's administration says 97% of the kids at Rise are Black or Latino, and the community the school is in is already underserved.

"I felt very sad. I was not expecting this to happen," parent Leticia Rosas said.

If the charter isn't renewed, Rise won't have the resources to stay open.

Parents say the possibility has led to difficult conversations with their kids.

"They’re taking it pretty hard. They don’t wanna see the school close," Pullen said. "I want them to complete their time here at Rise Schools."

The board could vote to not renew Rise's contract on Feb. 23.