North Minneapolis charter school to lose building lease

Minneapolis Public Schools district is ending the building lease for one of its partner charter schools.

The Minnesota School of Science in north Minneapolis is $800,000 behind in lease payments. Its administrators say that's because state rules don't allow lease aid to charter schools that rent space from their authorizers.

School officials say if they cannot find a new facility they may have to close down.

Shalisha Ransom said her son has seen success at the school.

"He wants to be a pediatrician to help with children. And before he didn't have that mind frame, that mind set," Ransom said. "They're not just helping him academically, they're helping build him as an individual so he can become a successful young man."

School officials are asking the Minneapolis district to let them stay in the building for one more year.

"This is not a closing of the school or an end to their authorizer agreement," said Sara Paul, who leads the district office that oversees the partnership with schools. "This is a situation in which they are going to have to find a different building for them to operate their school."

School officials say if they can't find a new facility, they may need to close the K-8 school, which has more than 300 students.

Parents and school officials plan to lobby for that option at the Minneapolis school board meeting on Tuesday, June 11.

District officials say they won't allow a change in authorization because of investigations concerning finance, testing and special education at the school.

District officials say they plan to open this fall a traditional K-5 school in the building.

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