The McLeod West District is going out of business for financial reasons, which means its only school in the town of Brownton will soon close.
A group of residents tried to keep the building going by applying to start a charter school that would open this fall; it would have been called the Circle Edge Brownton Community School. But the state Education Department last week rejected that application.
The state acknowledged the community support the school appears to have, but added it's not enough to open a charter just to replace another school that's closing. The state said organizers failed to demonstrate a need for the new school.
Brownton city councilman Chuck Warner said the K-8 charter school would have kept about 100 students in town, instead of sending them on at least a 15-minute bus ride every morning.
"A town without any school isn't really attractive to young families, so it's a real blow to the community," Warner said.
The students who had signed up to attend the charter will now have to find another place to go next year.
McLeod West is consolidating with three neighboring districts: Glencoe-Silver Lake; Buffalo Lake-Hector; and Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop.